I’ve convinced that the Twenties are the hardest decade. For every Mark Zuckerberg or Alexander Hamilton, there are millions of 20-somethings who are trying to figure out who they are, what they are called to do and be, with whom they will spend their lives, and why they exist. Bless them.
Yes, the other decades are tricky. HH and I spent a decade trying to keep our kids alive. We spent another decade trying to juggle their lives and ours. Now, on the cusp of our sixth decade (for him; I’m already there) we will try to avoid cancer, heart disease, and an insecure retirement.
What is The Church doing for 20-somethings beyond praying that they will connect with our congregations and teach Vacation Bible School?
I am the mother of three 20-somethings. They may or may not ever connect with a traditional congregation again. What they want includes: meaning, support, community. What they don’t want: guilt, pressure, fakery.
Some of our congregations are demographically bereft of 20-somethings. Maybe we live in retirement communities or expensive neighborhoods or places where there are no jobs or colleges. Some of our congregations are demographically blessed with 20-somethings. How can we serve those in the most difficult decade?
- Be flexible.
- Offer authentic support.
- Love them for who they are.
- Assume they are smart.
Twenty-somethings often become thirty-somethings who are somewhat more settled. Sometimes they have children. Sometimes they have a desire to serve in their communities. In the meantime, we can be the kind of community that any follower of Jesus of any age would want to be a part of.