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What will it cost your church to invest in my generation?


About four years ago, I was a student heavily involved in collegiate ministry, growing in my understanding of Scripture, and being discipled by a woman in our church. However, even as I grew and learned more about the church, I remember asking myself, “Where do I fit in to all this?”

This question is one my generation poses often – and one for which the local church can provide a clear answer. 

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul uses the illustration of the body and its many parts to describe a functioning church body. The body does not have only one type of part, but a variety of parts that help the entire unit function as one. This is where college students and young adults can be a tremendous asset to the local church – lending their youthfulness, gifts, Bible fluency, and more to its overall mission. 

So what do young adults look for in a church? Most importantly, they desire a Gospel-centered church that keeps Christ at the forefront of fulfilling the Great Commission. But what else is important to my generation as it looks to connect with a body of believers?

Quality over quantity

Many believe young people only want to be part of a church with a trendy building that offers lots of cool graphics in its presentations and attracts hundreds of other young people. However, the more people I interact with my age, the more I realize how many value quality over quantity when it comes to the local church. One place this is evident is in small group settings, where young adults who have a sincere need for quality relationships can grow deeper with others. If given a choice, I believe many young adults would choose a Bible study with a few people over a massive gathering with hundreds of people.

Service opportunities

When college students and young adults are given a wide range of opportunities to serve, it not only offers them a chance to experience the fulfillment of helping others, but provides them with a training ground to learn more about the gifts God has given them. This is one of the best ways a local church can serve young people – by providing them with a place to serve. Service challenges young people to be selfless, but it also creates an incredible path for assimilation into your local church as they serve their fellow members. 

Multigenerational exposure

Part of deepening community for many college and young adults is developing friendships with those of older generations. They truly value the wisdom and experience older generations offer, and in my experience, those older generations love pouring into and sharing wisdom with younger people. At my church, we have three young adults who meet weekly with a multigenerational women’s Bible study. Those young adults have said often this study was one of the main reasons they decided to continue to come to our church and eventually join. 

Your church doesn’t need to be a trendy, social-media-famous church to attract my generation. What we desire is depth, service, and connection with the diverse body of Christ. That kind of investment can be practiced by any church of any size and costs nothing more than intentional investment.

    About the Author

  • Kayla Green