I’ve been taking my time listening to the newly released OSV Talks and found one from 2020 that I hadn’t listened to yet. I met Pete Burak years ago when I attended a conference of Millennials and the Church. He is the director of id, the young adult outreach of Renewal Ministries. As I watched his OSV Talk, I was remembering all of the young adult events I’ve attended in the Church basement with bad food that seemed like an after thought for the parish. I even ran a young adult ministry that did all the wrong things, trying to aim for a target I more often than not missed.
One of the most common comments on surveys when asked about “Adult Education Topics” is “Basics of the Faith.” I’ve written about this recently, you might remember. Then I saw this new initiative that launched right after Labor Dat called “Real + True.” It’s an effort to take the Catechism and make it come alive, to showcase it’s relevancy.
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.
Engaging young adults is a priority for almost every parish I work with to create a Parish Vision Plan. A consistent thought about young adult ministry is that “it’s slippery.” It seems to be one of the hardest ministry to start, develop, grow, and sustain.
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!
When we work as a team, we accomplish more than if we went at it alone. We all agree that’s true in business, sports, and even our personal lives … so why don’t we live it in our parish ministries?
One of the most common things I hear from survey respondents is “where are the young families? children? next generation?” Many times the answer is “they’re struggling to figure out where they fit in the parish in the midst of everything else.” What if every parish did one new thing to help young families this year? What difference could we all make in the Church?
If we want to incorporate new people into the community, then we need to think outside the box. If we always do what we’ve always done we’ll always get the same results we’ve always had. Think outside the box!