I’m at Catalyst Conference this week, and I’ll be blogging through some of the sessions that I attend.
Reggie Joiner had this to say:
Here are some statistics taken from 20-29 year olds:
- 95% say they attended church while in middle school
- 55% say they also attended while in high school
- 11% say they also attended while in college
Why are we as the church not doing anything to change this?
Of those age 23-30 who stayed in church from 18-22, a mere 6% don’t currently attend church.
The problem is that the church is programmed to draw a finish line at 12th grade. At “graduate Sunday,” it’s like it’s all over. So what if we moved the “finish line” from high school graduation to college graduation?
Myths about college ministries:
- That’s what campus ministries do…not local churches. But a campus ministry isn’t the same thing as a local church. There’s a need for peer-to-peer interaction, but also a need for intergenerational relationships
- This isn’t a college town or community. Yet only 25% of 18-24 year olds attend college full-time.
- We tried doing it before and it didn’t work. Maybe you did a program, when what they needed was leaders.
- We don’t know how to appeal to college students. What they’re hungry for is authenticity.
- There’s not enough in the budget. Yes there is. You make room for what you prioritize.
- We can’t hire another staff position. This isn’t something you can hire for. This is changing the way people think about building relationships with college students.
- This isn’t a long-term investment. They’ll leave as soon as they graduate. This isn’t about a long-term investment…it’s about protecting the investment you’ve made throughout middle and high school.
- It’s hard to see how this benefits our church. Maybe this is just one of those things that’s bigger than your church.
- These are the years they should solidify their faith on their own. But there’s a difference in owning your faith and doing your faith.
Questions for your church to ponder:
What is your church doing to invest in the lives of those who are college-aged?
What are you doing to invest in the life of someone who is college-aged?