Even I fell victim to one of the classic mental blunders of young adult ministry in the mainline Protestant Church — I didn’t believe we had anything to offer young adults. That notion seemed to be firmly, but unconsciously, implanted in the back of my head; but, the Holy Spirit ‘schooled’ me once again.
Three. Yes, THREE young adults approached us last spring about serving as interns with the Iowa Conference United Church of Christ. We were stunned, but we quickly took them up on their unexpected offer. I became the supervisor for this delightful group of students coming here to learn was it means to work on a small, wider church staff and, more broadly, learn about what it means to be part of the progressive, Mainline Protestant church in the early 21st Century.
Indeed we did know a number of things that these young people wanted to learn. (See more about what they learned in this video.) We could teach them the basics — what is expected of you in a professional setting; how to be prepared for a meeting; how to manage your time to get projects completed. We can also offer them something deeper — space to discern how they can use their gifts and passions in a professional setting that gives them meaning and purpose for their lives.
Isn’t this really what churches could be offering young adults trying to make their way in the world? Young adults need the guidance of more mature church members who can mentor them to be faithful professional people who have an impact on their community and world.
How do you or your church (or could you) offer mentoring and meaning to the young adults in your congregation?