I’m an emerging adult. And I’m listening carefully.
A compilation of advice from emerging adults and many who believe in them:
- Preach the Bible. Many of my friends cite “the Bible not being preached” as a reason they left a church. We need and want Truth.
- Connect ancient Bible truths with contemporary life realities. Convey how the gospel matters to our relationships, our work, our culture, our sexuality. Help us see how the gospel rightly intersects every area of our lives.
- But before you preach on tough issues affecting our culture, find out how others are wrestling with them. Perspectives different from yours may still be biblically formed and theologically sound. For example, a mature, pro-life, 25-year-old black Christian woman will likely have a different take on everything surrounding abortion than a mature, pro-life, 55-year-old white Christian man.
- Personalize it. Your content must pass through your heart and not just your head—pair the truth of Scripture with a personally meaningful part of your own spiritual journey. This is a matter of vulnerability and authenticity, not image and expertise.
- Communicate the why. If we don’t know the why of your teaching, we will care little about the what and even less about the how of the application.
- Speak as if nonbelievers, new believers and questioning believers are present, because you hope that we are. And we may continue to return if we feel that our presence is noted and welcomed.
- Remember: You are the following partner in the dance of conveying the gospel. The lead partner is the Holy Spirit. Believe that He is at work in my life and that of my friends.