Sunday, November 30, 2008

2 Themes at Kidology's CM blog watch

Kidology's CM Blog Watch - besides the usual interesting single topics, there were two recurring themes earlier this week.

1) Re-motivating young adults (20's) - ie. keeping them coming to church through their late teens/20's/early 30's.

I guess I'm confused. I thought that much of "post-modern" "emerging" thinking was a response to this dilemna. And I thought the changes were bringing this age group back. Maybe it was just Artisan. Artisan had a very high % of college-aged attenders - the majority of the congregation. That may still be true, I don't know. A large college population doesn't do much for the budget (especially in the summer) but if they stay, that may not be an issue 5 - 10 years from now. The elements that lead to its appeal for this age group often proved to be a deterrent to those older - (people with income to share - not that it's about money, of course...) and to people who wanted programs for children and teens. Because the leadership cared more about keeping the '20's their initial focus was on church life that would do that.

A large % of this age group is transient - leaving their community for school, home in the summer, then back to school. It would be interesting to see whether church attendance is still an issue (kids in their 20's stop coming) even when they remain in their communities to work, attend school, or return to town after school.

Are we talking about a place for students on local campuses to plug in with us while they're in town? A place our own kids will be drawn back to? If these kids leave our churches on fire and committed does that guarantee that they'll plug in some where else? Notice the emphasis on "place" here. Is "place" what we're talking about? In this phase of their walk with God, what is this age group hungry for? And, yes, real food always appeals to teens and college students. "Feed them and their yours!"

If you take the Yust article from earlier posts we're asking the same questions - how can we to share the God we love, making the most of the attributes this age group has to offer, helping them make meaningful contributions to the larger community, still meeting needs specific to their age group? How do we include them?

What about campus ministry or local church outreach to college campuses? Affective? Not? Many of the kids at Artisan came by way of campus ministries bringing groups of kids to visit local church services or through campus ministers. News spreads. They car pool. Church members who work on campus offer rides.

2) The other theme is technology and Cyber-church which (as usual) always leaves me with more questions than answers, though virtual in this case . . .

. . . but join the kidology discussions . . . especially if you have stories of success and how-to suggestions.

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