The Threads Blog
We all know the set-up: In the latest version of a wholesome and heartfelt made-for-TV movie, a family is gathered around a large table overflowing with mouth-watering food and well-mannered children. At the head of the table, the father carves the turkey, prays before the meal and closes by asking everyone to share what they’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving. Their answers? All perfect as well.
It began in Long Island, wound through Charlotte, through some small towns in Mississippi and finally back to Nashville. Our team went all over the country, from San Diego to Louisville, to Little Rock, to Jacksonville, to Birmingham and Phoenix. We didn’t miss many places in our search for what was working for churches desperate to reach people in the 18 to 34 age group.
We met some people who rocked our world. We met some passionate church leaders we will remember for a lifetime. We made new friends with members of the churches who longed to fill their churches with more people in this age group.
But it was the people outside the church whose words still play in my mind.
When you see something interesting once, you might make a mental note of it and move on. When you see it on a recurring basis, you start writing the information down and and start analyzing it.
While we were studying successful church ministries to Young Adults, we kept seeing the same thing.
- These churches were missional churches who did something concrete to improve the community around them, our country and the world, all in the powerful, redemptive name of Jesus Christ.
- They let people outside the church take part in this service and through the process, many of those outside the church who took part were saved.