Strategies to Engage Young Adults: Part 2


 From a webinar in November 2018 with Rev. Jennie Edwards Bertrand and Roxy Twaddle


1.     Even if 20 people have said they will show up, something better might come up.  Leaders can have more accountability to show up.  All others may and will flake.  It may also be anxiety and depression that keeps them from leaving their room. Students who come once a semester or once a year, but know we’re praying for them, consider you a church home. 

2.     Pint theology, theology on tap, brew and the Bible.  The point is not drinking, but it is in the community.  Lowers critical mass, 3 people show up and it feels normal.  Pick a topic you’re passionate about.  Easy to invite.  Small groups should be 6-8 weeks.  Build connection, study material, people are still excited about it at the end.  Take a couple months off, and repeat.

3.     Small group curriculum that has worked well: 

Controversial topics.  Goal is conversation, not a lecture.  Find theologians that have differing opinions.  

Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconnilli

Inspired by Rachel Held Evans

Half Truth or Making Sense of the Bible by Adam Hamilton

I was Broke, Now I’m Not, 6 weeks financial class

Animate Series: Faith, Bible, Practice.   DVD & Journal

Story Theology by Dory Baker

4.     If you are in or near a college town, the rhythm is different.  Pay attention to when students get to campus.  Catch them early, and you have 10 weeks.  Think creatively with how to connect them to a 52-week church.  

Don’t hand out water bottles at move in.  Wait to meet students until the dads are gone.  Then it’s a numbers game, 1-10% who have your information will show up.  Passed out 2000 popsicles with ministry name, saw 20 people return, 4 got involved.  

5.      97% of the young adults who come to your church or ministry come because of a personal invitation.  Someone they trusted invited them.


Watch the whole webinar, including Q&A here:


And join us for the Fall 2019 webinar on November 7, at 1:30 pm!

“Do you really want Young Adults? Equipping existing churches to reach young adults”  lead Rev. Sarah Wanck. 

Rev. Wanck is the associate pastor at Crossroads UMC.  In 2016, she launched 309 as a ministry of Crossroads.  The mission was to create a multigenerational family of believers relentlessly reaching people for Christ in the Washington-Peoria area.  They began with 50 and grew to 150 last Spring.  This summer, the worshipping communities of 309 and Crossroads UMC have merged.  

Register today.