Discerning For Young Adult Ministry

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A Resource fromThe Office for Young Adult & Campus Ministriesat the Episcopal Church CenterDiscerning forYoung Adult MinistryA Guide for Parishes and DiocesesMay 2010Kicking off young adult ministry mayseem like a daunting task, but it all startswith determining what you are called todo with the specific young adults alreadypresent in your specific context. Thefollowing tools were collected to helpstart that conversation as well a helpestablish a basic framework for youngadult ministry. While these tools are byno means comprehensive, the hope isthat they will provide a starting point forministry to a very important populationof the Episcopal Church.A Brief Scriptural and Personal Reflection, p1A Litany for Young Adult Ministry, p2Discernment Questions, p3Exploring Your Context, p4A Survey of Young Adults, p5The Episcopal Churchwelcomes youw w w. e p i s c o p a l c h u r c h . o r g / y o u n g a d u l t s

Discerning forYoung Adult MinistryA Brief Reflectionon Ministry with Young AdultsReceive:Ephesians 4: 1-6, 11-16.lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, withpatience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, oneLord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and inall.It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to bepastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ maybe built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and becomemature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there byevery wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead,speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. Fromhim the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself upin love, as each part does its work.Remember:Your promiseWill you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?(Holy Baptism, BCP page 303, Confirmation, BCP page 416)Respond:What does this passage say about how we are to fulfill our calling (what God would have us do withour lives)?How can this passage guide a conversation about young adults in the Church?How are we to minister with and to young adults?What gifts/talents (i.e. art, music, public speaking) do I have to offer?How do I best utilize these gifts/talents?What is God asking me to do in this ministry?How will I follow God’s request?

Discerning forYoung Adult MinistryA Litany for Ministrywith Young AdultsLeaderPrayer is an acknowledgement of the presence of God in our lives as well as in the life of our ministry. We desireto cover young adults in prayer and realize that young adult ministry is the fulfillment of a call. (silence)LeaderAllLord, in your mercy, equip us.Christ, in your wisdom, guide us.LeaderWhile forming community, we do it with the knowledge that we come from different backgrounds, have differenttheologies and are shaped by different experiences. We join with each other to tend the Spirit and share the challenges and joys of ministry. (silence)LeaderAllLord, in your mercy, equip us.Christ, in your wisdom, guide us.LeaderIn companioning we move from prayer and community to presence, revealing the beauty of young adults to allwith whom we interact. We become intentional about accompanying young people in their walk with Christ.(silence)LeaderAllLord, in your mercy, equip us.Christ, in your wisdom, guide us.LeaderWe gain understanding through prayer and interaction. Lead us in discerning how we are called to minister to andwith young adults. (silence)LeaderAllLord, in your mercy, equip us.Christ, in your wisdom, guide us.LeaderGrounded in our faith, participation in the sacraments and desire for community, we begin fulfilling our promiseto action. (silence)LeaderAllLord, in your mercy, equip us.Christ, in your wisdom, guide us.LeaderIn looking back on our actions in the light of scripture and our Christian tradition, we will determine how theSpirit is moving or blocked through our ministry and actions. (silence)LeaderAllLord, in your mercy, equip us.Christ, in your wisdom, guide us.LeaderAs we start the cycle again, listening for your Word, we ask for healing, guidance and renewal. (silence)LeaderAllLord, in your mercy, equip us.Christ, in your wisdom, guide us.

Discerning forYoung Adult MinistryDiscernment Questionsfor Ministry with Young AdultsDefining Young Adult Ministry1) Define young adult ministry.2) Where does this definition come from?Young Adult Ministry & The Parish3) What is the parish’s attitude toward young adult ministry?4) How does the parish’s mission/vision statement relate to young adult ministry?5) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the parish?6) How will these strengths and weaknesses affect young adult ministry?7) What are the stewardship issues (time, talents, financial) for young adult ministry in your parish?Young Adult Ministry & The Diocese8) What is the diocese’s attitude toward young adult ministry?9) How does the diocese’s vision/mission statement relate to young adult ministry?10) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the diocese?11) How will these strengths and weaknesses affect young adult ministry?12) What is the relationship between parish young adult ministry and diocesan young adult ministry?13) How important is this relationship?14) What are the stewardship issues (time, talents, financial) for young adult ministry in your diocese?Structures of Support and Evaluation15) What will the “support system” be for young adult ministry?16) How will you define success in young adult ministry?17) How will you measure successful young adult ministry?18) What is a realistic expectation of young adult ministry in the parish and diocese?19) Who will be accountable for the “health” of young adult ministry?

Discerning forYoung Adult MinistryExploring Your Contextfor Ministry with Young Adults1. Are there 20s/30s involved in the parish/diocese?a. What kinds of backgrounds do they come from?b. Do they speak a common language about church and faith?2. What are the phases of life that can be identified in your young adult population?(married, married with children, professionals, working class, single, etc.)2. What Christian formation opportunities already exist in the parish/diocese?(If there is a successful, established Bible study then there is less need to create one exclusively for young adults)3. Are there 20s/30s in other nearby churches?4. What social/societal issues are important to your church/diocese?(If you live in Texas or California, the issue of immigration is an everyday experience.Other examples: Columbine, CO and teen violence; NYC-terrorism; Gulf Coast-natural disasters; etc. )5. What personnel resources are available in your parish/diocese?Do you have some interesting, creative, educated people around who might be able to speak from experience oncertain issues? (i.e. hospice worker, nutritionist, park ranger, criminal defense/prosecutor, actor/performer, etc).6. What are the economics of your constituency? That is, what can your people afford?(For example, in NYC young professionals tend to have very little expendable income.)7. What are the local resources (i.e. parks, coffee/pastry shops, movie theaters, pubs) that are convenient to the church/diocese?

Discerning forYoung Adult MinistryA Surveyof 20s and 30s in our communityThe following questions are meant to help determine what a young adult community might look like. It is hard to discernwhat should be done until we figure out what interests us, what we want from church, and how much time/energy we canspare.How long have you been attending ?0-6 months 6-24 months 2-5 years 5 yearsWhat is your average commute time to the church?5 min 10-20 min 20-30 min 30 minWhat initially brought you here?LocationHeard about the activity/ministry of the churchFriend/ Personal InvitationOtherWhy did you stay?I developed relationships with other parishioners.I’m attracted to the ministries or programs offered at the church.I’m attracted to the worship offered at the church.OtherWhich service do you usually attend?*8am 9am 11am 5pmWeekly noonday EucharistWould you say that your faith and spiritual life have been deepened here?Yes NoIf not, what has been missing?

What are you looking for in a church? (check all that apply)Good preaching that is relevant to my lifeBiblical instruction and teachingMission and outreach (local, regional and global)Development of personal faith in Jesus ChristFocus on sacramentsSomewhere I am challenged to grow and thinkPlace to deepen my spiritual lifePlace where I feel welcome and “part of a family”OtherWhat ministries or programs have you attended in the past?What about them worked?What about them did not work or was frustrating?Are you primarily interested in attending on Sunday mornings only?Yes NoIs Sunday School a regular part of your church experience?Yes NoWould you be interested in a weekday Bible study at the church?Yes (in the morning before work Yes (at lunch) NoDiscerning forYoung Adult MinistryA Surveyof 20s and 30s in our community

Is community outreach something you’re interested in?Yes Somewhat NoAre you interested in the possibility of mission work (local, national, international)?Yes Somewhat NoWould you be interested in a monthly book club?Yes Somewhat NoIf you answered yes, what kinds of books would you prefer to read? (check all that apply)Popular novels and non-fiction(e.g. Lamb, The Preservationist, The Secret Life of Bees, God’s Politics, American Gospel)Light spiritual fare (e.g. Frederick Beuchner, Anne Lamott, Madeleine L’Engle)Heavier theological/ethical material (e.g. Rowan Williams, Stanley Hauerwas, Desmond Tutu, Jurgen Moltmann)Would you be willing to participate in some sort of Dinner Group, both hosting at your home and visiting other homes?(This would perhaps be a monthly occurrence, varying from home to home, with likely numbers of around a dozen or less.)Yes Maybe, from time to time NoWould you enjoy doing cultural activities like going to the theater, taking in a concert, or visiting a museum exhibition?Yes Somewhat NoWould you be interested in engaging in facilitated discussions of contemporary issues from a Christian perspective?(e.g. immigration, Middle East conflict, the environment)Yes Somewhat NoIf yes, do you have any suggestions for topics?Would outdoor activities like hiking, camping, canoeing and cycling appeal to you?Yes Somewhat NoDiscerning forYoung Adult MinistryA Surveyof 20s and 30s in our community

How busy are you?I am extremely busy, either with work, family, or other commitments.I am busy but I have some free evenings and weekends.I have most evenings and weekends free.If we were to meet weekly what night would be best?Sunday Monday Tuesday WednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdayIf we offered childcare, would you be more likely to attend evening happenings?No YesThank you for taking the time to fill in this survey! We look forward to moving forward in ministry with you.Discerning forYoung Adult MinistryA Surveyof 20s and 30s in our community

Discerning for . Young Adult Ministry . A Litany for Ministry. with Young Adults. Leader. Prayer is an acknowledgement of the presence of God in our lives as well as in the life of our ministry.

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