I am a youth minister because I love the church. One reason I fell in love with Growing Young from the first page was because it’s all about the church. It’s all about the intrinsic link of loving the church and loving young people. Not only is this a book with compelling statistics, it is also full of stories, and practical, useful ideas for leaders.
Readers are introduced to six core commitments for churches “growing young”:
* Unlock Keychain Leadership
* Empathize with Today’s Young People
* Take Jesus’ Message Seriously
* Fuel a Warm community
* Prioritize Young People (and families) Everywhere
* Be the Best Neighbors
Each of these six commitments are thoughtfully defined, deeply rooted in our Christian faith, and partnered with ideas for practical application in a variety of contexts.
This isn’t a “youth ministry” book though it will most likely be lumped in those categories for many. It is a “being church together” book. It’s a book that challenges your assumptions and forces you to face how well you are actually living what you say you believe.
Do not be mistaken by the title, thinking that this is a book all about attracting young families and youth so that your median age lowers by 20 years. Growing young is not just about a numerical age. It’s about a particular attitude, culture, shared commitments, and perspectives in dialogue. It’s about a focus on the calling of Jesus to “go and do likewise,” to spread and share the gospel through life together. Life is lived; life moves; life grows. A church that grows young sees death not as the end of the story, but an area for new life to spring forth.
Take the time to read this book and share it with your leaders. What commitments and ideas for action will you take on together? Do not expect this to have every answer you are looking for, but instead let it inspire you as you discover what these findings may be calling you toward in your life together.