Young People in Local Churches
Tips for welcoming young people as a church and helping young people listen for God’s direction in their lives.
• Thanks be to God; you are family with young people in your church!
• Young people bring unique gifts to the family, both as a generation, and as individuals.
- Take the time to talk about what those gifts are and how to incorporate them into your church life!
- Ask young people about their experiences with worship, study, and mission!
• Young people, inherently, bring changes. Change can be scary, but often brings vitality and new life!
• All people of faith seek to live out God’s will for their lives. Young people are deciding what paths to follow with their lives and are often asking what God wants them to do.
- All young people, not just future clergy, are called to discern God’s will for their vocation.
• God often calls those who do not expect to hear a call.
- Often, having other people name a call is the first way that a person knows what the call is. Do not be afraid to share the gifts you see in others, and ways they might be used!
- God calls people to ministry in many creative ways.
- Have a conversation in your church about the ways other church members have experienced calls.
• Young people are as diverse as other generations.
- Their styles of worship are diverse. Some like contemporary worship, some like traditional hymns, and some prefer other styles altogether, but all are seeking God.
- Styles of dress differ within generations, so do not assume that the way a young person is dressed is disrespectful or unprofessional. Today’s society is much more casual than in past years. Jeans and other casual styles are accepted in most places.
• You can help people listen for God’s direction in their lives.
- Share how God might direct the use of our money, time, relationships, and gifts.
- Be ready to identify gifts, and then to nurture and encourage calls.
- Have a way for people to name and commit to the ways that they hear God asking them to live.
- Talk about all vocations as possible callings of God.
- Name the joys of ordained ministry.
- Track those calls, and hold people accountable to them!
• Listen for the Holy Spirit, and trust that the Spirit will lead.