Growing Young

Who are you raising up that could take over your church ten years from now?

The church needs every generation, yet many churches are missing out on the gifts and perspectives of youth and young adults. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not that young people don’t care about faith anymore. Many of them do. But young people aren’t going to join your church just to fill seats on Sunday morning. They want more than a good sermon or a contemporary worship band. They’re looking for an authentic community that embraces them and the gifts they bring to the body of Christ.

The Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) studied more than 250 leading congregations, and they discovered six essential strategies any church can use to engage young people. We’re partnering with Fuller to offer in-depth, personalized training on using these research-backed strategies in your church to “grow young.”

Currently, there are two regional gatherings of churches who are participating in Growing Young: the Michigan Cohort and the Heartland Learning Community. The Michigan Cohort is lead and run in partnership with Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). The Heartland Learning Community, which partners with the CRCNA, is led by FYI-trained facilitators.

Growing Young

Heartland Learning Community

October 5-6, 2020

Learning events hosted at Trinity Reformed Church
in Orange City, Iowa.

Read the flyer for more details.

Growing Young

Michigan Cohort

September 24-25, 2020

Learning events hosted at the RCA’s Michigan Regional Center
in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Read the flyer for more details.

Overview

To help any church grow young, we’ve developed a yearlong learning process to help you implement these six essential strategies. Through this regional, Iowa-based learning experience, in partnership with the Fuller Youth Institute, the Reformed Church in America, and the Christian Reformed Church in North America, we wish to come alongside your congregation to help you unlock these key strategies for growing young—developing an intergenerational congregation.

This yearlong process will include:

  • Two in-person learning events that will unlock the research behind Growing Young. We will experience strategic conversations and learning methods that can be directly applied in your congregations.
  • Five online webinars that will specifically help you further engage these six strategies in your congregations
  • One year of personalized coaching from a trained coach
  • Access to the church-wide version of the Growing Young assessment, an online test that reveals growth areas around the six strategic categories of Growing Young

Through this process, our team will work alongside your church’s team to create a holistic ministry pathway that changes your church culture to emphasize the importance of intergenerational ministry.

What will we learn about?

Much of the content during the first learning event will revolve around understanding the six characteristics of Growing Young, including demystifying church myths that you may have heard along your ministry journey. Lead by trained facilitators, we will explore further how these characteristics can be harnessed and used to unleash your intergenerational ministry:

  • Unlock keychain leadership: Instead of centralizing authority, empower others—especially young people.
  • Empathize with today’s young people: Instead of judging or criticizing, step into the shoes of this generation.
  • Take Jesus’s message seriously: Instead of asserting formulaic gospel claims, welcome young people into a Jesus-centered way of life.
  • Fuel a warm community: Instead of focusing on cool worship or programs, aim for warm peer and intergenerational friendships.
  • Prioritize young people (and families) everywhere: Instead of giving lip service to how much young people matter, look for creative ways to tangibly support, resource, and involve them in all facets of your congregation.
  • Be the best neighbors: Instead of condemning the world outside your walls, enable young people to neighbor well, locally and globally.

Who should be involved in this change process?

We encourage each team to include four key members of the church. We recommend including your key youth leader or pastor. We also highly recommend:

  • Senior leader (pastor or executive decision maker)—This work will involve cultural change work that will require the involvement of all leaders and decision makers, so it’s helpful to include these people from the beginning
  • Youth (19-29)—We highly value rising leaders as decision makers. This means including them as a strong voice on your team from the beginning, allowing these voices to shape the decisions and culture changes that emerge from the Growing Young process.

Cost

The cost is $2,500 USD per church. Fee includes all program elements and most meals for a team of up to four people from your church for both learning events (additional team members attending each learning event are $350 USD per person for the year), all webinars, access to a coach throughout the year, and church assessments. Travel and lodging expenses are not included. Scholarships are available upon request.

Questions?

If you have additional questions, would like to request a scholarship, or would like more information, please contact nextgen@rca.org.

Next Generation Engagement