Phil Knox, head of mission to young adults at the EAUK, points out that the project is the culmination of over two years of research and it is preceded by the Is the ‘missing generation still missing? report, also published this year, which analyses the situation of the youth in the church in general and specially since the pandemic.
According to Knox, “the EAUK has intensified its efforts” in this area since the release in 2009 of the Missing Generation report, “which found that in 1985-2005 the numbers of those in their 20s attending church more than halved. And, although reaching young adults was a top priority for 96% of church leaders, only 11% felt sufficiently resourced”.
The initiative addressed the 7 issues that “were most talked about and wrestled with by the hundreds of church leaders and young adults” they spoke to prior to the creation of the guide which is the main resource of the project. Alongside that booklet, there are a series of short films, blogs and case studies for each topic.
A house with 7 rooms
Each of the seven conversations are framed around a a room in a house, because “the narrative of home connects with many adults who have left home, create a new one, or struggle with a sense of where home is” and “as a church we aspire to create an environment where people belong and find their home in God”, says the EAUK.
The young adults are welcomed in the first room, the hallway, followed by the living room to talk about facilitating life-giving connections; the study for leadership; the kitchen for teaching: the dinning room, for difficult topics such as doubt, racial justice and mental health; the games room to talk about participation; and the garden, for evangelism.
In each room church leaders will “identify key generational characteristics of that topic and discuss the implications for the church”; and find “questions to help you consider what might enable you to be more effective in that area” as well as “stories of innovative and effective practices that might inspire you to think about your own context”, says the EAUK.
“Our prayer is that this resource helps the church to thrive among all generations and results in significant numbers of young adults coming to faith in Jesus”, adds Knox.
Read more about 7 Conversations here.