We keep hearing that young people are leaving the church and the faith in droves. Is it true, and how do you hope your research helps churches today? Much of the doom and gloom about young people leaving the church is true. Church attendance is declining overall. The share of U.S. adults who identify as Christian has recently dropped from 78 to 71 percent. No major denomination is growing. Further, 18 to 29-year-olds make up nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population but only 10 percent of church attenders. Taken together, this can seem like a pretty bleak forecast. But in the midst of this storm, Jake Mulder, Brad Griffin, and Kara Powell wanted to study the bright spots—250 exemplary churches doing remarkable work with 15 to 29-year-olds. What they found was both surprising and hopeful. Based on their team’s 10,000 pages of data and 10,000 hours of research, they have identified six core commitments of churches that don’t age or shrink, but grow, and grow young. The Metro D.C. Synod is providing a workshop around this material as part of the New Connections Campaign's "Developing Leaders" initiative.
Rev. Dr. Phil Hirsch's presentation on Growing Young is available below.