After 30+ years in youth ministry, I find it very natural to be drawn to college students and young adults navigating the transition to adulthood. I could talk for days on this topic, having learned a few things (and gained some battle scars in the process) especially these last 4 years as I have designed and run an internship program for the Free Methodist Church that is directed at Christian college students from Westmont College, Azusa Pacific and Seattle Pacific Universities, as they prepare to graduate. These articles, radio stories and podcasts all speak to the reality of what I'm learning as I seek to work with this new generation of young adults. Enjoy.
The Unexpected Things Millennials Want in Church. The title of this article says it all; I must admit, just when I think I "get" Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000), I don't. I spend the bulk of my work and ministry life with Millennials at three West Coast campuses, and they are an intriguing and surprising bunch. Just keep in mind that their numbers now exceed those of Baby Boomers, so we want to pay attention to them as we move forward. Here's a quote from the article: "Fortunately, if a church can get millennials through the door, and to stay for the whole service, there’s no need to try to compete with U2’s most recent stadium tour."
And if you still have interest in this elusive demographic, here is a whole series that NPR has been doing on Millennials that they've titled "The New Boom."
I may be late to the party on this one, but I just listened to a podcast this week that was an interview of Nadia Bolz-Weber, a Lutheran pastor who founded a church in Denver called House for All Sinners and Saints. She had some very intriguing things to say about church and how to welcome in people from your neighborhood, all the while rooted in a high church tradition. This sentence stood out to me: "I really feel strongly that you have to be deeply rooted in tradition in order to innovate with integrity."
Finally, if you are looking for some ways to achieve more peace and quiet in your life, especially as the holidays approacheth, I want to send you to an unlikely source: take an hour and listen to this podcast from the TED Radio Hour titled "QUIET." I was impressed and perhaps a little humbled by the insights shared. What they have to say about the power of quiet is profound.