This past week I came across a blogpost by Lance Crowell, “Three Things Every Young Adult is Looking for in Their Sunday School Class.” My attention perked up because I lead young adults in Bible study at our church. He posed three great ideas:
- Content – Young adults are looking to be challenged and hear the truth.
- Community – Young adults are often very lonely and desperately looking for relationships.
- Calling – Many young adults desire to be part of something larger than they are.
After reading this post I began to think about what I have been doing to help the young adults in my spiritual care at church to find these three things. Here are my ideas:
- If you use a curriculum for your young adult small group, work it to the maximum and make sure the learners know how to use it to help themselves learn.
- Focus on three concepts as you study: observe the Bible text, interpret the meaning of the Bible text, and apply the Bible text to life today.
- Help young adults learn to use observation, interpretation and application as they study their Bibles.
- Find connections between the biblical text you are studying and culture today: a movie, a news event, a TV commercial, or maybe a hit song. Use these cultural connections to create interest in the Bible text or help apply the Bible text.
- Create a relaxed environment for Bible study.
- Share food as part of the Bible study: from coffee to finger foods to a full meal at times. Fellowship around food creates community.
- Help learners share relevant prayer requests and pray together.
- Help learners share their own spiritual journeys with each other.
- Find other times besides the group Bible study session to get together. Party on a regular basis.
Calling: (I would add here that young adults want to serve others in significant ways.)
- Find ways the group can serve a greater cause together: a mission trip or a local ministry opportunity.
- Help the group see opportunities for individual service. Share opportunities and celebrate young adults who are serving.
- Share ministry and service opportunities in the church with the group at nearly every meeting.
- Help the group serve hurting people they may already know – a sick group member, a single-mom family, a friend who has just lost a job or a friend experiencing tough times.
I think Lance Crowell nailed it. If you want to see your small group ministry and/or your church, figure out ways to help young adults find the Bible study content they want and need, the community they crave, and the opportunity to service in significant ways. When you get those concepts working, I think young adults might beat the door down to be a part.
Scripture: Read 1 Timothy 4:12. If you lead a group of young adults to find content, community, and calling, might they become an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity?
Dig Deeper: Please read “Three Things Every Young Adult is Looking for in Their Sunday School Class” by Lance Crowell. While you are there, the Sunday School Leader website supplies a great wealth of posts about every age group and aspect of leading Sunday School classes and small groups. Check it out.