I came across two blog posts with excellent food for thought for all who are asking questions like, “How can we get more young people in the church?” The first is How to Get Young People in Church by Laura Blackwood Pickrel at Gathering Voices, the blog of The Thoughtful Christian website. Her post points to another entitled How to Get More Young People in Church in which The Rt. Rev. Kirk G. Smith, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona yields his blog space to a young adult, Tamie Fields Harkins.
Both offer great advice, such as this: Do notice and love the young people who are already at your church (and stop saying things like, “We’ve only got X-number of young people in our church.”)–Pickrel.
And this: Be genuine. Do not under any circumstances try to be trendy or hip, if you are not already intrinsically trendy or hip. If you are a 90-year-old woman who enjoys crocheting and listens to Beethoven, by God be proud of it.–Smith.
Good advice for churches in general. Don’t get fixated on numbers. Don’t forget to appreciate the people you already have. Don’t try to be somebody you’re not.
Listen up, small church! Indeed: listen up, church at large!