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Increase Young Adult Participation in Your Faith Community

At a time when a growing number of young adults aged 18 to 34 are not connected with any religion, some congregations buck the trend.

Research indicates that young adults are not lacking in spirituality, it is more that they do not relate to religious organizations and worship services, or they find public expression of their spiritual inclinations uncomfortable. But not all of them. Across the religious spectrum, there are examples of faith communities that include a high percentage of young adults.

In an effort to understand why some congregations successfully attract and retain young adults, Faith Communities Today, a consortium of more than 25 faith communities, researchers, schools of religion and  scholars, has developed a web page devoted to scholarly resources that point congregations to perspectives and practices that work.

The material includes reports summarizing the now-extensive research on youth and young adult culture, and how congregations with significant young adult participation are distinctive. The page also includes a summary of the best practices for young adult ministry that have emerged from research and from an in-depth study of 10 congregations representing a range of Christian religious traditions, as well as Baha'i and Jewish faith communities. Detailed case studies are included so readers can explore the common themes and unique characteristics of each of these distinctive congregations.

For more on young adult religious feelings and practices, read our  feature article, "Emerging Adults Least Likely to Engage their Faith." For more on what appeals to youth about worship programs and church, see our feature article "Reversing the Exodus: 7 Traits of Churches that Successfully Attract Young Adults." Also explore "Best Resources on Youth and Youth Programming for Congregations" and the subcategories on youth under our "Congregations" tab and our "Research" tab.

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