The gatherings for young adult ministries can be vastly different. After looking at
many different models of young adult ministries all over the country and even
the world, I have seen that the type of gathering really isn’t important, yet the
important thing for young adults is that there are other young adults available
for them to connect with.
Last semester we had a student from the local college ask me if he could do his
Senior Thesis on our young adult community. He was an Anthropology major
and he wanted to find out why people came week after week. He thought that
people would say that it was the great technology, graphics or videos. Or
maybe the lights that we use, or the facility we meet in or the teaching that they
hear. Yet his findings were very different, he found that people came back
week after week because their friends were there and they could connect with
other young adults. So just “build it and they will come”.
The following are some suggestions on gatherings that may inspire you to start
something within your church. We always say, “Don’t try to start something
great, just start something.”
Sunday School Class
• Some of our churches are doing a great job reaching young
adults in our weekend worship services but for some reason
there isn’t an organized gathering for young adults. Consider
starting some sort of Sunday School class specifically for
young adults. The content of the class isn’t that important,
the important thing is that young adults want to journey with
other young adults. Provide a class on a New Testament
book of the Bible and focus the teaching on how they can
apply the principles in their lives as young adults. The
important thing with this generation is that there is plenty of
time for interaction. Think about putting the group at round
tables and let them discuss what they have just learned in
the teaching (Either have someone teaching live or find a
DVD driven teaching curriculum). Topical studies are great
as well. Topics that are good in this environment are: Dating,
relationships, work environment, Identity in Christ, Prayer,
Weekly Bible Study
• How bout a weekly Bible Study focused on Young Adults.
This can be at the church in a class room, at the home of a
young adult or at the home of a host couple at the church
who just loves young adults. A coffee shop or bakery is also
a great place for a Bible Study to meet. These can be as
informal as people bringing a Bible and asking questions or
having a set curriculum for people to study. The Bible Study
leaders can be other young adults, a Pastor at the church,
or an older mentor couple who has a heart for young adults.
For us in our ministry the latter has worked the best. Our
young people love that their Small Group leaders are in their
50’s. They have often been believers longer than the young
adults have been Christians. It is a great dynamic and one
that I hope you would consider opening your young adults
• The night of the week is not that important. Sunday night is a
great night, but people have usually been to church that
morning and Sunday nights are usually set aside for
preparation for the week or for homework. We have seen
that Friday nights work well too, but typically are not a great
night to reach out to non-believers. Whatever night you
choose will have pros and cons, you are going to have to
pick a night and go with it.
Monthly / Quarterly Saturday morning Breakfast / Devotional
• These can be a lot more informal and something that may
develop friendships and relationships in a more organic way.
Find a room in the church or pick a local restaurant and let
all the young adults of your church know that you will be
meeting there for breakfast on a Saturday morning and
share a short devotional and allow the young adults to
discuss how the principles of the devotional impact their
lives. This can be done monthly or even quarterly. This is a
great supplement to a gropu that is just starting and getting
off the ground. Maybe start this a few months before you
launch a new gathering, Sunday School class or small group.
Men / Women focused gatherings on Friday nights
• This would be a great way to get young adults started as
they build a new community. Young Adults in their 20’s and
30’s are typically single (or else they would be in the
marriage groups) and have a lot of opinions on the opposite
sex. However they often miss the fact that they also need to
grow as Godly men and Women. Think about starting
separate weekly gatherings on Friday nights (or another
night) that focuses specifically on gender specific issues. You
will really get the conversation going if you bring up what is
expected of a Godly Man / Godly Woman. If you really
want to start a dynamic conversation amongst the young
adults of your church then mix them up after a few sessions
and allow them to talk about what they have learned.
Weekly or Monthly Worship / Prayer service
• See if the sanctuary of the church would be available on a
night that the church does not usually meet and see if you
can have a worship service in the sanctuary. If there is
another room in the church that would be great as well. It
would be great if the young adults could have some say in
the aesthetics of the room. This does not have to be a fancy
gathering, just some people to lead in some worship music,
someone to teach or facilitate the teaching / conversation
and a time for the young adults to come before God in
prayer. It is that simple. Some young adult ministries are very
elaborate in the way that their community meets, and it
works great for those ministries, but don’t allow yourself to do
what would reach your community.
After church fellowship group
• Maybe Young Adults already attend the weekend service
but you want to get people together but don’t know if a
Sunday School class would be right for this group. Make a
few announcements and tell the young adults that others
are heading to a certain restaurant after the late service on
Sunday for lunch. Pick a restaurant and keep it consistent. It
can be weekly or you can say that the 1st Sunday of the
month the young adults are going to Denny’s after church.
There is something about food that opens up the doors of
Once a month activity group
• Pick 12 activities for the year and get some people to help
you plan them. They don’t have to be that often, just give
people a few weeks notice and get them together for some
fun. (See activities section for ideas)
The most important thing is for you to read your church and your community. For
us we have a lot of young adults at our weekly church services so we started
with a Bible Study because the young adults didn’t need another environment.
Yet we grew to the point where our Bible Study has grown into a service
environment. Find out what the young adults of your community are doing and
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