"I have come to feel that the primary reality of which we have to take account in seeking for a Christian impact on public life is the Christian congregation… The only hermeneutic [framework for interpretation] of the gospel, is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it." Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society
So much is being said and written about community being significant in mission that it seems as if there were just one thing that we need to get right to be effective in mission, it is the quality of Christian community that we have in our churches.
All-age church is a vision for much, much more than children’s services, all-ages talks and family services! It is a vision for a church culture which is naturally inclusive of people of all ages.
There are several people who might help your church to think through how your church may grow as an all-age community. There are also resources which they can guide you towards.
For more help contact:
The diocesan focus on mission to young adults recognises that those aged 18-40 are a missing generation in many of our churches. Nationally, research has shown that older people are more likely to belong to the Christian faith than young people. The Tearfund report Churchgoing in the UK 2007 indicated that three quarters of 65-74 year olds and 82% of over 75 year olds attend church. At the other end of the age spectrum only a third of 16-34 year olds are Christians.
Of those who do not attend church, young adults today are more likely to have grown up with no experience of church and be closed to the possibility of attending, whereas older people are more likely to have experienced church at some point in their life and rejected it. Mission among 18-40 year olds therefore tends to need a different approach to mission to older people. However, young adults are themselves a diverse group. For example, they include single people and those with children, professional young adults and those who have never been employed. These differences in lifestyles have a significant impact on the way that the church can effectively engage with this age group and how they, in turn, might relate to matters of faith and spirituality.
Effective mission to young adults will obviously vary according to the local social and church contexts and the Young Adults Missioners for each Archdeaconry will be very willing to help you to think through how you and your church might develop this area of mission. This might be focused within your own parish, or could be considered as a deanery project or mission in partnership with local ecumenical partners.
Click here for details of the Young Adults Missioners.
Outlook is a Christian organisation which aims to reach older people with God’s Good News about Jesus and His promise of abundant and everlasting life.