What’s Your Approach To College Age Adults?

The hour at Dunkin Donuts just flew by, but the time was priceless.  Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to reconnect with returning college students and yesterday I had the opportunity to sit down with two of my favorites.  No agenda, just asking them how life is going and listening to their huge, big and incredible ideas.  I’m just so proud of them and I’m so enthralled with what’s going on in their life.
It’s hard not to think about the students who have left home.  I can’t help but dwell on whether or not we’ve done everything we can to:

Unfortunately we are seeing many young adults crash and burn when it comes to the transition from childhood to adulthood.  If we don’t transition them we could create:

  1. An Enabled Generation – If your goal for young adults is to create a program for them, I ask that you can reconsider.  Main reason is that you risk creating consumeristic disciples.  Most times what we come up with is just a NEW version of what they’ve already experienced.  What we need to be doing is infusing them into the same routine as the active and committed adults.
  2. A Lost Generation – Sometimes it’s easier to think it’s someone else’s problem, but I really do think that college age adults are a part of youth ministry.  Our temptation is to say that once they graduate they are adults, so now it’s big church’s problem.  Unfortunately, not every student is ready to grow up or move on at graduation.  Some students might be intimidated or apprehensive to take that next step.  We as youth ministers not only have to prepare for graduation but make sure they keep moving forward.

In order to avoid these two outcomes we as a church have begun looking at helping young adults grow by getting them plugged into:

  • Small Groups – Whether it’s at college or in the local church we want to make sure they are in a Christ focused community.
  • Ministry – By putting their faith into action they will put themselves in opportunities where their faith can be challenged.  And just as in small groups ministry and mission work provides a sense of community.
  • Mentoring – If they decide to be in a peer driven small group we want to make sure our young people are connected with older disciples who can serve as an investor.  Doesn’t matter if you are 13 or 103, you always need someone with experiential wisdom investing in you.

What is your church/ministry’s approach to college age adults?