BY DOUG RIGHTS |
The Young Adult Working Group, one of the working groups of our Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM), is discussing plans to offer an open forum on young adult ministry in our churches. The group plans to offer this open forum sometime early next year. In preparation for this provincial event, the Young Adult Working Group had a trial run at the November Moravian Ministry Association meeting in which around thirty people attended.
Brother Zach Dease, pastor at Macedonia Moravian and member of the Young Adult Working Group, guided us through this event which included videos and discussion questions. The first video was called “We Are the Millennials: a Letter to Baby Boomers” which shared several reasons why millennials (young adults) are not active in church. Other videos included some of our local Moravian young adults and a former Moravian young adult who shared their feelings and experiences of being a young adult in the Moravian Church. These videos showed a variety of perspectives from young adults who are active in their churches to one would rather be out doing ministry than sitting in a church to one who feels the Moravian Church does not meet her needs and has found them met elsewhere. There was some good discussion following the videos.
This open forum also included questions for discussion from which many at the forum shared their responses. The questions were:
- How would you feel if you were a young adult Moravian today?
- How should we be supporting our young adult Moravians in our churches? What is your church doing now? Where do you need help?
- On a scale of 1-10 (1 lowest, 10 highest), how would you rate the performance of the Moravian Church in serving young adults, and why do you pick that number?
- If the church seems to be struggling to support millennials now, what can we do to serve the children, the next generation, and ensure that they do not find themselves in this same situation?
Sister Victoria Lasley, a candidate for Moravian ministry and student at Wake Forest Divinity School and member of the Young Adult Working Group, shared some of the responses from the questions. Due to time restraints we were not able to discuss the responses, but the working group will use this information for its future event.
Those who attended this open forum also received a recent survey in which around twenty Moravian young adults in our area responded to questions about the involvement or lack of involvement of young adults in the church. Many of the survey responses tied in with the information from the videos and discussion. The survey also included some practical things churches can do for young adults which include:
- Know who your young adults are and contact them.
- Have services and programs that are relevant and meaningful..
- Have someone whose ministry is to keep up with the church’s young adults.
- Have leaders who are sensitive to the needs of young adults and do your best to relate with them.
- Be willing to be flexible and open to new ideas.
- Don’t be afraid to deal with tough questions.
- Have a church where young adults want to invite their friends.
Soon the Young Adult Working Group will announce the time and place for its open forum. We hope many who are concerned about our ministry to our young adults will be there. Our group’s prayer is that looking at the issues and at what we can do will help make a difference as we minister to the young adults in our churches.
Young Adult Working Group:
Laura Bennett-Overcash (Friedberg), Zach Dease (Macedonia), Victoria Lasley (Bethania), Reed Lawson (Bethania), Amy Linville (Rural Hall), Sabrina Maksi (Christ), Randall May (Rural Hall), Doug Rights (Board of Cooperative Ministries)
If you have questions or need additional information, email (drightsATmcsp.org) or call the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries at (336) 722-8126.
The Rev. Doug Rights is the Director of Youth, College, and Young Adult Ministries at the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM). Here he is with his lovely wife, Kathy.