Current Reality in North American Division
According to a recent Adventist Review article, only 18.46% of our members in NAD are under 40.
4.55% are under 25.
And I’m guesstimating about 2% (or less than 2%) are between 18–25.
If you’re doubt, check my article back from 2014.
Ever since 2000, through the work of Roger L. Dudley (10 Year Valuegenesis) we’ve been told that at least 50% of our teenagers/youth/young adults are leaving the church.
Much our leadership from 2000 was in denial. Didn’t believe it. And tabled any motions that was related to doing something about it.
After 16 years of “knowing” that at least 50% of our youth/young adults are leaving the church — we’re still struggling to do something about this.
We’ve been listening. We’ve been saying relationship/mentorship is key. We’ve been wanting the hand over the keys. We’re learning that we should delegate and empower.
Through the recent book “Growing Young” by Fuller Youth Institute — we’re seeing that we need to be warm, friendly, love, care, be intentional and have 5:1 ratio, etc.
But, it’s at this point we need to ask ourselves — what are we doing?
1. Will simple human intentionality, tactics, strategies and value systems be enough to retain young adults? Really?
2. In this day and age when young people are not only disillusioned but significantly disappointed and downright hurt — will our retention strategy to be warmer suffice?
3. Could we as a “60 year-old median age church” — generate warmth, love and intentionality all on our own?
4. Where is a nationwide or a worldwide prayer movement — where we as a church humble ourselves ask God to heal our land?
5. Are we still waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit known as the latter rain?
6. Do we still believe that — as prophecied — our young people will finish the work? Do we really want them to?
7. Will local churches change by an “Institutional Building Block”?
8. What is our change catalyst? How do we become a Spirit-filled, loving, warm, intentional, friendly, empowering church that young people would love to attend?
9. Where does it all begin?
10. It begins with leaders, down on their knees, humbling themselves, crying out to God to change them from the inside out and help them love better.