Katy, a recent college graduate posted an Instagram photo of a meal she prepared with local, fresh ingredients. It included squash fritters and truffled green beans. Yum. She considered this food fest, “Advanced Adulting,” proposing that such cooking finesse marked her journey from youth to adult.
When Katy moved out of her childhood home to her own apartment last spring, she snatched a professional job, got a scriptural tattoo with her first paycheck and shared with me that she was on the brink of “adulting.” She knew in her heart that the freedom and fun of college days were done, that loan payments were about to begin and she was in serious transition to adulthood.
The process of adulting is universal to all emerging adults. It is highly complex and usually marked by periods of instability, experimentation and uncertainty. Mennonite churches have not always assisted young adults as they maneuver through this sometimes amazing, sometimes heartbreaking journey.
It appears that in the life of the church, we have often ignored our young adults and their journey, not knowing how to respond to their distancing, their angst, and their questions. We assume when they are ready, they will engage with us and of course, then they will return to church. We may believe that their therapeutic approach to faith (if it feels good, then I’ll do it) is shallow and they will grow out of it. Those above age 45 may wonder how Millennials and Gen X’ers claim a belief in God but do not want to connect with a congregation.
Largely, most young adults who are not actively engaged in a local church can be described in two ways: “Spiritual but not religious” and “unaffiliated and uninterested.” The latter is also known as the Nones, who when asked what their religious affiliation is, mark None. It is the largest growing religious group in America. I am willing to bet than many, many of us currently reading this article have children and grandchildren who fit these descriptions. We may be sad, but we need not be helpless!
One way to connect with young adult women is to encourage them to attend the FREE Sister Care for College Women. This seminar provides tools for:
caring more effectively for self and others
exploring life direction
discovering spiritual formation