Which congregations are attracting 18-29 year-olds? What does this success look like in the face of a changing religious landscape and trends in young adults living longer, marrying later, and undergoing increased career transition?
With support from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., the “Changing Spirituality of Emerging Adults” project was designed to address these questions.
As a research fellow for this project, I set out in the field to find out how one Catholic parish was successfully creating a thriving church home for 20-somethings. Findings from my case study of this Dallas mega-parish are now available on the Changing SEA website.
Among the lessons learned? Define an age-specific ministry space bridging youth and adulthood; don’t presume that young adults are averse to orthodoxy; and find ways to empower lay leaders.
My essay and additional “success” stories can be accessed here:http://www.changingsea.org/bruce.php
http://www.changingsea.org/studies.htm Additional findings from field reports, interviews, and focus groups will be incorporated into future publications.