By Gennie Callard
There are many ways for a parish to view young adult ministry. In this article I am going to talk about viewing this ministry as a change in your parish culture with the goal to become a more welcoming and including community.
To view ministry with Young Adults as a change in your parish culture is important to the college students and to our church in general, but it's also difficult as it asks the current members to do something different or perhaps give something up.
The question that we must to ask is, "Who is this church for?" I believe most people would say (and/or believe) that church is for the members. We have worship services when the members can make it. We have meetings when members are available. We offer the human services that members need. The rector is there to meet members' needs when they're sick, hurting, etc. In places where this is done well, the goal is for the members to go out and minister to the wider community. Yet in practice, that next step of going out doesn't always happen and most churches exist only to serve those who are already there.
Is the purpose of a church to serve it's members? If this is true how is it different from any other club or community organization? The church of today needs to be modeled on Jesus' ministry. He gathered the 12 disciples not solely to minister to them, but to enable them to go out and minister to everyone else. Jesus and the disciples continually invited new people and opened their gatherings to everyone - going to places where they gathered and feeding them when they were hungry.
The mission of our church is to serve as Christ served, to go out into the world and spread the good news, and to open our doors wide. Changing the culture to become "All age inclusive" and "Young adult friendly may include: