In their book The Great Dechurching, Jim Davis and Michael Graham reveal that “Belonging (or lack thereof) is the primary pain point many dechurched feel.” Their research demonstrates what you already see in your ministries: young people ages 13-30 are the most vulnerable to dechurching, with a particular point of vulnerability from ages 13-18 with the transition to adulthood. But here’s the good news: “Of all the things people said would make them return, [belonging] is the greatest felt need.”
The question for youth workers is this: how do we create genuine belonging in our ministries, such that youth never have to go through the pain of dechurching?
Join us on November 9 at 1:00 p.m. CST for a webinar about how the gospel helps youth ministers welcome teenagers into warm, Christ-centered community. You’ll hear from seasoned youth ministers Skyler Flowers, Dorothy Lau, and David Brashler about what works and what does not in the quest to create a sense of belonging for students in their churches.
Below, you’ll find some of Rooted’s favorite resources on belonging. We hope these will bless and encourage you as you seek to create a culture of belonging in your youth groups.
The Culture of Belonging in Youth Group by Rebecca Heck. “If we are going to effectively disciple students, our ministries need to be places that cultivate this sense of belonging to each other so that we may see the face of Jesus in our ministry.”
Discipling Student Leaders to Welcome Fellow Students by Meredith Dixon. “Only when students have been welcomed by Christ through the gospel and know who they are in him will they even have the desire to welcome others.”
Ask Rooted: How Do You Minister to Unchurched Teenagers? “We asked Rooted writers to share how they are seeking to grow in sharing the gospel as they reach out to teenagers who haven’t grown up hearing the gospel in their homes.”
Youth Group Culture: Fully Known by Bradley Gray. “With a proper understanding of the gospel, our youth ministry cultures will transform from groups that implicitly proselytize performance and pretense into ones that promote boldness, confidence, and edification.”
Three Tips for Welcoming New Students to Youth Group by Steve Eatmon. “As Jesus demonstrates, reaching out to new students—those on the margins—is crucial if we are to be effective in youth ministry.”
What Parents Should Know About the Great Dechurching with Jim Davis and Michael Graham “Americans are most vulnerable to dechurching between the ages of 13-30. This important new book uncovers the primary reasons why people leave the church. Parents will be particularly interested in knowing how they might influence their child’s decision to dechurch.”
Youth Ministry Wisdom from Charlotte Getz. “Tune in to this episode to hear Charlotte discuss the importance of “showing up,” the value of meaningful female-male ministry partnerships, the significance trips can play in a teenager’s spiritual development, and more!”
Liz Edrington on Loving the Tough Kids in Our Ministries. “In this episode of the Rooted Podcast, hear Liz Edrington’s Workshop (recorded at our 2018 conference in Nashville) about seeing and loving the difficult kids in our youth ministries.”
Sign up here to join us for our webinar on November 9!