Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So I don't have any follow up to my YA class because we are snowed in. Well we aren't really snowed in. Once we get out of the neighborhood the roads are pretty good but it has been snowing all day and we have about 4 inches on the van and ice on the way. This frees me to brainstorm a bit about some places I'd like to go with my YA class. I have talked to my Pastor about changing our Sunday Evening service into something geared towards a younger group. Right now our church looks like a box of cotton. I am quite serious when I say that 70% of the people in church are over 50. This isn't a terrible thing except that a church mostly made up of baby boomers and older is a church that will be gone in a generation.

I want to remake our evening service into something geared towards people between say 20 and 40 and have taken the first steps to reaching that end. I'm not sure when everything will be in place. I'm even considering a different venue for the service but I do want to find some way of integrating this service with the church as a whole. I'm not sure how we will pull this off but I trust that as we move forward it will work out so long as we seek God every step of the way including these early steps of talking about the very idea.

One of the things I am considering is using the YA class as a follow-up to the Sunday Evening service. I have already thought of a name, "Dig In." It is a play on a phrase I use relatively often, "dig a little deeper." I think it would be great to go into some of the details of the sermon that don't make it into what I say, or to open up discussion to what was actually said. I wonder if anyone has done anything like this and how they handle it?


Ben said...

Your church sounds a lot like my church. I would say our percentage of grey haired people is probably at least 70% too. Thanks for the post because it is getting me to do some thinking about what we can do to reach the 20-40 age group.

Nick the Geek said...


Thanks, I have lots of ideas but I'm not sure what will work. I wish I had to budget to throw it all at the wall and see what sticks. Instead I have to move forward slowly in prayer so we can laser target what we are doing to what will be most effective.

Max02 said...

Hey Nick,

Thanks for the info you left on my site. Good stuff to know.

My church actually has a generally good mixture of people. We don't get a lot of youth anymore, though. We haven't had a High School/Middle School/Youth Pastor for a while and we finally ran out of steam (and people) who were willing and able to lead the ministry.

Good luck with those plans. Keep us updated and I'll keep praying.

wv: chinvan

The super car used by the super hero Cleft from The Fairly Odd Parents.

Nick the Geek said...


Surprising what kinds of randomness I know. I pray that your Youth program will get more active. They are the future of the church and they will be much easier to reach than people 20+. Of course it is important that the Youth learn how to be involved in the church not just how to have a great time in Youth group. That is one of the other things I'm struggling with.

Max02 said...

That's definitely a major issue.

The other big issue we've struggled with for a long time is, after the students graduate from high school, we don't really have a place to move them into. The transition to "adult" service is kind of awkward. That and we don't exactly have a ministry geared solely toward young adults yet.

Nick the Geek said...

That is one thing that really concerns me. I have talked to other YPs about this, and there is a book on my "to read" list recommended by one of them that deals with this issue. Basically the way we run Youth tends to throw the church under the bus. We make things so fun and different that when they leave the Youth and go to church they feel like it is a snorefest.

I'm not 100% sure what the answer is but I am working on mentoring and getting things in place for Young Adults to help with the transition.

Grace L. said...

I don't know how much this will help, if any--just some things that came to mind while reading the post and comments.

A while back, we had a discipleship group going for the youth that were interested in "digging a little deeper." We'd go over some kind of material bit by bit, either scripture or a really solid book, and we were encouraged to ask any and all questions about it that came up. It was a very open atmosphere, where people could ask questions that were really on their minds either about the material or just life in general.
That's not completely what it sounds like you're aiming for with your after service follow-up, but it could be a thought for any of the kids you think would appreciate it.

As for the transition issue, again, I'm not sure if this will help or if it will just be me blathering, but when five of the college aged kids decided to stay in the area instead of leaving for Other Places, our YP essentially signed them on as interns for 9 months. All of them helped out with various aspects of church work for a minimum number of hours a week, and helped with the youth as needed. That way, they were still involved with the youth to a certain extent, but began to distance themselves because they were youth leaders. They were also set apart for Sunday School to re-start the College and Career class for graduated kids and young adults. Since then, the C&C group has grown because people have been spreading the word to friends and going on various outings. We're now running a good 30 or so for cell groups and 12 as a core. (First number rounded as accurately as possible.) I think plans are in the works to eventually pull us out of the youth services during the preaching for our own lesson, and let us mix during worship.

Oy. That was long. Again, I'm most likely just running my mouth. If this has helped at all, I'm glad--and if not, oh well. Interesting material you have going here, by the way. =) I found you off SCL.

Nick the Geek said...

Grace L,
Thanks for your input. You have a lot of great advice. Some of these are things that I am working towards. I believe strongly in mentoring and your advice on how your YP handled the teens that stayed in the area meshes well with the mentoring aspect, both in mentoring them and getting them plugged in to mentoring the Youth.

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