Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What I like about Young Adult Ministry

Awhile back, I posted on why young adult ministry was hard. Since that post can maybe make it feel like I’m just surviving in my ministry, I wanted to balance that out with what I like about young adult ministry.

They long for Connection: young adults are a communal people…they want to be connected to other people like themselves. Even though they may be looking for a mate, they still want friends as well, and they want those friends to be fellow believers. They need opportunities to connect with the larger body within the church, but are still deeply desiring the affinity group of young adults who are in their same life stage or age range.

They want to Serve: young adults want to serve, but they’re just not always sure what steps to take to do it. If pointed in the right direction, they’ll often times step up to the challenge, dive right in, and far exceed your expectations!

I get to Believe in them: even though young adults are transitional, I get to believe in them and encourage their dreams while they’re here! They have so many dreams and sometimes just need someone to validate them and encourage them to take the next step toward seeing them fulfilled. Often times they can’t see in themselves the potential that they have, and it’s so much fun to see people grow into themselves and mature in who God has created them to be. Which brings me to…

They have tons of Potential: They have so much untapped potential! These are the future leaders of the church, and often times, these are the people who want to step up and lead, they just aren’t trusted enough to have a place to develop themselves. I’m blessed to be in a church where young adults are valued and encouraged to lead, but in many churches, this isn’t the case. Churches often wonder why there are no twentysomethings in their congregations. I’ve been amazed at how people come to life when you set them free and encourage them to use their passions and gifting in order to further God’s mission in the world.

They are super Creative people: that about says it all. They have so much creativity that can be expressed in so many different ways: art, dance, music, media, creating ambiance, cooking...yum, writing, and so much more. They are just full of good ideas and think outside the box more often than not!

They want to Learn: Young adults look at life and see so much of it still ahead of them. They feel like they have time to learn and grow…there’s still that feeling of, “I can be/do anything I want to.” They are moldable and teachable [most of the time!], and it’s exciting to see God take a heart that is willing to be shaped and make it more fully reflect His.

And finally:
I get paid to hang out with/get to know people my own age: this is a huge benefit for me! I heard story after story of friends graduating college, moving some place, and having a really hard time making friends or getting to know people their own age that are followers of Christ. I graduated and moved to a church that said they wanted to pay me to hang out with other people my own age. Of course, there’s way more to young adult ministry than just hanging out, but building those relationships are definitely a huge part of it!

What else can you think of? What else makes working with young adults great?