I discovered this information listening to the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast…
Kara Powell and her team at the Fuller Youth Institute spent 10,000 hours collecting data from churches to find out what they were doing to reach young people. There were huge variants in background, from culture, to denomination, to ethnicities, and what they found were six core commitments that created healthy environments for young people to thrive.
Empathy. Churches who empathize understand the main questions that young people are asking and journey with them as they figure them out. There are three questions being asked:
Who am I?
Where do I fit?
What purpose do I make?
Jesus’ message. For younger people, Jesus is first and Christianity comes second. Jesus is magnetic. He’s a message, a person, and a context who can handle our biggest questions, including our doubt. Young people connect with that.
Keychain leadership. This is leadership that isn’t centralized control. Every leader has keys of authority of power and influence, and as young people are ready for them, leaders know how to hand the metaphorical “keys” to them.
Prioritize young people. From allocating a budget to speaking their language, churches doing well to reach younger audiences invest in them.
Focus on families. One of the best ways to reach young people is to equip their parents and partner with them.
You don’t need a big budget, and you don’t have to be perceived as “cool.” You can leverage your time, talents, and volunteers to serve, and any leader can get better at engaging young people, no matter how “old” they are.