Let’s break this down: You’ve all been hearing of the Thrive Music Festival happening in a couple weeks, right? If you’ve REALLY been paying attention, you know that it has something to do with our Young Adult Ministry as well! In this article, we’ll explore answers to what this Young Adult Ministry Grant process looks like, what the YA Ministry will look like in the future, and why this Thrive Music Festival is an important step.
What: Come and listen to local bands and artists while enjoying from Lafayette’s finest food trucks! Games and recreation will be provided as well.
Where: ECC Lafayette
When: Friday, July 19th from 5:00pm-9:00pm
Now to the WHY:
Over the last 2 years we have been involved in the Center For Congregation’s Lily Grant to engage the young adult population (ages 19-33) in our church and community. We received this grant in December, and now are able to really focus our attention and resources to providing what this young generation truly needs from a church community: Invitation, Relationship, and Participation. Invitation to join in the community, relationships that sustain community, and participation in the larger mission of the church. Young adults love personal, face-to-face invitations and hospitality, and crave intergenerational relationships, but will rarely reach out because of fear of judgement and harsh criticism. They need to sense that they belong before they begin to participate in ministry opportunities. A one-size-fits-all concept will not do.
Phase 1 of the grant process was to create a warm and welcoming environment to any young adult that walked onto our campus. We did this through inviting guest speaker April Diaz to speak on a Sunday morning in January, moving the coffee to the front lobby to create more space for conversation and relationship building, and we are continuing to create this space by walking through the Fuller Youth Institute’s yearlong consultation process. If you’d like more information on what Phase 1 has looked like, I’d be happy to chat more with you one on one.
Phase 2 of our grant process is this Thrive Music Festival! We call this the “Capture” phase; not because we intend to manipulate or “lure” young adults to our campus, but we want to capture young adults who don’t have a church home or community and provide a safe, yet compelling space for them to belong to. We hope that throughout the night of Thrive that we can present the young adult community that comes with many opportunities for them to connect to our larger congregation. We will have 3 tables set up for people to visit throughout the night.
Table 1: We are partnering with Habitat for Humanity as our service project “next step.” If you are interested in serving with Habitat (even if you’re not a young adult), please stop by their table for more information on how you can get involved with the great things happening there!
Table 2: Welcome to the ECC Ministry Table! At this table we will be promoting all of ECC’s ministries to those that stop by- you may even be able to pick up a free gift!
Table 3: Welcome to ECC’s Young Adult Ministry Table! At this table we will be promoting all the exciting things coming for our young adult population. Things like a Sunday School class, small groups, social outings, and service outings will be explained and promoted.
Phase 3 of our grant process is the “Sustain” phase in which we aim to sustain our Young Adult ministry through a Young Adult Sunday School class, Young Adult small groups, social outings, and serving opportunities.
HOW CAN I BE HELPFUL DURING THRIVE?
You don’t need to be on a planning team to make an impact at this event! Here are some ways you can be a warm and welcoming church community to those that come:
- If you see a young adult you don’t know, introduce yourself and even invite them over to the Young Adult table to meet other young adults from our congregation!
- If you see a family you don’t know, introduce yourself and maybe invite them over to our ECC Ministry Table for more information on what we offer families!
The mission behind this entire Engaging Young Adults process has always been to respond faithfully and imaginatively to the desires of young adults to BELONG, GROW, and SERVE in our community. The Thrive Music Festival is our foot in the doorway to creating long lasting relationships, and maybe even providing a young adult a warm and welcoming place to belong.