bits from bob....
Growing Churches Pay Attention to the Needs of the Adults
by Robert J. Young
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
I love kids--of all ages. From cooing infants to little ones just learning to walk to kids learning to play soccer and baseball. Anyone who comes down against kids is generally labeled an ogre. If we are to reach our world for Jesus Christ, however, we must gear our Bible School for adults as well as kids. Certainly we should seek to minister to all ages (pre-schoolers through adult), but we have too often geared Bible classes to children and neglected adults.
The church seriously attempting to minister to adults needs to understand today's adult. Consider the following.
- Adults make up 70% of the U.S. population today.
- Young adults are 20% of the total population, 30% of the adult population. Middle adults (Baby Boomers) are 35% of the total population, 50% of the adult population. Senior adults are 15% of the total population, 20% of the adult population.
- Of the adult population, 48% are single.
- Of middle adults, 52% either have been or are divorced. Another 10% of this group will never marry.
- Bible school attendance across America today is 69% adult, 31% kids. This is large due to the "graying" of our nation, and reflects the first statistic above.
- We must provide Bible classes that are relevant to the needs of adults as well as children if we want to continue to grow. If feasible, two-track adult class structures reach the largest number (topical and textual studies offered simultaneously). The two most popular topical studies are parenting and marriage.
- Middle adults must have Bible classes that are relational and participatory.
- We must improve our outreach to single adults, Baby Boomers, and to the growing number of senior adults.
- Within a few years, the first wave of the Baby Boomers will reach retirement, providing a growing volunteer work force for the church, if we are ready with meaningful, fulfilling activities.
- Adults are still drawn by activities for their kids. One survey found that 86% of parents would like their children to receive religious training, but only 69% of all children do receive such training. In every community, 1/6 of all households with children are ready prospects. All we must do is find them!
- If we want to reach young adults, remember that the nursery is still the "handshake" of the church.
Growing churches will minister to today's adults.
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Last updated January 2, 2002.