Many Churches in western nations are both shrinking and aging as younger generations disengage. However, there are scores of congregations that are bucking this trend and developing cultures that welcome, empower, and engage teenagers and young adults.
The Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) has conducted ground breaking research with over 250 of these leading congregations to learn what they do right. Based on this study of a diverse group of churches, it was discovered that there are six essential strategies any church can use to better involve and retain young people. The results are found in the book Growing Young – see growingyoung). What’s more, they found that as these innovative churches engage younger generations, it breathes life and vitality into the whole church. Intergenerational connection and involvement is strengthened throughout the Church, and a sense of vibrancy fills the entire Church.
The Victorian Conference, in partnership with the Fuller Youth Institute, the SPD and the AUC, has offered a number of churches from across Victoria the opportunity to participate in a Growing Together Cohort.
Next weekend (end of Feb) participants will be attending the first of two summits, commencing a year long process which will provide their congregations with a holistic philosophy and practical ideas to make much needed cultural shifts. They will learn new strategies to engage younger generations in a way that breathes vitality, life and energy into the whole church, creating thriving churches for all generations.
Please pray for the participants and their churches throughout this year.