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18-25s 246Mission with young adults

From research by the Church Army

The Church Army's Research Unit has published research on successful, unsuccessful, and unproven mission with young adults (aged 18 to 30) which has taken place within the Church of England, other denominations, or through para-church groups.

12 case studies were completed of different approaches to mission and evangelism with non-churched young adults. These have been published in a report, 'Not as difficult as you think - Mission with young adults'.

What conclusions can be reached about the approaches which are likely to help in the process of making disciples in this generation?

Each of the approaches undertaken in the case studies has inherent strengths and limitations. Rather than talking of transferable models, they suggest it is more appropriate to talk of transferable principles.

From the case studies, three key principles emerge:

  1. Spaces to belong.  When they listened to the stories of non-churched young adults who have become Christians, words like “acceptance”, “friendship” and “community” kept coming up. This suggests that one important principle in mission with young adults is the need to create spaces where people can belong and feel part of a community before they believe.
  2. Spaces for exploring faith together. Another key principle is that churches who want to reach non-churched young adults need to be very deliberate about creating further spaces for sharing and exploring faith together. It's not about picking the ‘right’ evangelistic course or discipleship resource. The key is creating the right kind of space in which honest conversations about faith and life can happen.
  3. Not as difficult as you think. Though mission with young adults clearly has its challenges, reaching 18-30-year-olds may not be as difficult as you think. All that is needed to get started is the courage and initiative to meet young adults in a context they are comfortable with and begin to share faith there.

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From research by Church Army, 30/01/2018

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