More “Chairs” for Young Adults
Young Adult Task Force Launched
By The Rev. Trevor Spencer, Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island, Daniel Island and Ion
We needed more chairs. This was the reality on Saturday morning in the Diocesan House library when 18 diocesan leaders, mostly young adults, answered Bishop Mark Lawrence’s call to discuss the state of young adult ministry in the Diocese.
It was six months ago or so that Langdon Stewart, a lay leader in the Diocese with ties to Evangelism Explosion, and I ran into each other at a local coffee shop. On several occasions he and Bishop Lawrence had discussed the idea of gathering young adults and church leaders who are engaged in young adult ministry together. Langdon set out to bring folks together, discuss the needs, and see what the Lord would do.
And there we were on June 4, thanks to Langdon’s work, with chairs filling up.
As young adults (we defined this as those aged 18-35) discussed their engagement within the church, several realities began to emerge.
The first was the need to understand what’s actually happening within congregations in the lives of young adults.
The second was to create a working group of leaders, representative of all demographics within this age group, into a Diocesan Young Adult Task Force. Bishop Lawrence said, “This task force will seek to help inspire ministry with, to, and for young adults both within the local congregation and in the diocese.”
Finally, we decided to hold a diocesan retreat to connect young adults relationally, equip them for ministry in their communities and churches, and provide resources for parishes seeking to enhance and develop ministries in this area.
We have more chairs. We’ve begun moving toward all three goals. Clergy are being surveyed; a Task Force has been established and met a second time; and a Diocesan Retreat is scheduled for November 18-20 at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center (more details will be forthcoming).
There’s a lot of enthusiasm for this effort. I received a text message early one morning from a member of the task force saying, “My heart for the project is huge.”
Is your heart for this ministry equally huge? I’d like to extend to you an invitation. First, pray with us as we seek to minister with young adults — those in our church and those outside of it. Second, join us. If you’re interested in being engaged in this work, contact me (Trevor Spencer) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 883-3586 and let’s talk about it.
We, indeed, have more chairs. More chairs for this particular work, but also more chairs (or pews) in the life of our parishes. Seats we’re certain God has plans to fill with young adults, who love God, are engaged with the world, and are ministering in His name.