I’ve written many times about the research from Springtide Research Institute here at Transform Your Parish. Today I want to share about a challenge they’re doing this summer for leaders who want to help young people find a place where they belong. The team at Springtide has focused much of their research on Loneliness and Belonging.
One of my favorite discovers of the previous year has been Springtide Research. I’ve shared about them in the past (here). I recently received a preview of their new work Work/Life: Helping Gen Z Flourish & Find Balance, which is quite insightful.
As you read today’s post maybe you’re thinking, “She posts about Springtide Research too often.” It’s because they are doing research that’s speaking to my youth minister’s soul. I want everyone to find a home in the Catholic Church, especially young people. I believe the Catholic Church has what they are seeking – but we do a poor job inviting young people in. Why? I think we don’t really understand them. I think this has probably been true of every new generation, and now I’m just old enough to see a new generation come of age.
I’ve shared about Springtide Research Institute before a few times, but wanted to share this interview from the founder being interviewed by the millennial hosts of Jesuitical. I found it to be interesting listening to Dr. Josh Packard speak about this next generation – the members of our Church who are under 25. They’re looking for something specific from the Church, and I’m not sure we’re delivering.
A few months ago I watched a webinar recording entitled “Going, Going, Gone” given by Dr. Bob McCarty. He was discussing the research done in conjunction with St. Mary’s Press about why young Catholics have disaffiliated. One of the phrases he uses repeatedly is, “Belonging leads to believing.”
Almost every parish I’ve ever worked with has asked some form of this question, “How do we engage young people?” Or they express a concern about how “they never see young people at Mass; they’re always off doing other things.” I think this new research from Springtide will help us all craft a ministry that really meets the needs of Gen Z! Let’s explore it together!