Most churches feel like they are growing old. But what if we could grow young? That is the topic of Growing Young by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder and Brad Griffin. They are all involved in the Fuller Youth Institute.
They have done a lot of research on churches that are effective at reaching younger generations. They have found that is not one kind of hip church that reaches young people. Their research found churches of a wide variety of denominations, sizes and settings that are growing young.
They have identified six essential strategies:
- Unlock keychain leadership: sharing people with the right people at the right time.
- Empathize with today’s young people: why 25 is the new 15 and 15 is the new 25.
- Take Jesus’ message seriously: what’s young about the Good News.
- Fuel a warm community: warm is the new cool.
- Prioritize young people (and families) everywhere: from rhetoric to reality.
- Be the best neighbors: loving and shaping your world well.
I found many of the principles presented to be relevant to many other ministry contexts outside of children’s and youth ministry. I especially resonated with the concept of “warm is the new cool.”
This books is filled not just with these clear strategies but valuable research and stories of situations we can all identify with. Growing Young is a helpful resource for churches of all sizes.