“Growing Young” Notes

This Orange Breakout session was called “Growing Young” by Kara Powell. Kara and her team at Fuller Youth Ministry Institute have done a ton of research into how to keep young people engaged in the Church and God. Learn some of her findings here in these notes.

The 1st job of leaders is to define reality – Max DaPree

1 in 2 young grads drift from God and the Church

18-29 year olds make up 17% of US population but only 10% of Church goer

10 Qualities your Churches doesn’t need to grow young

  1. Size
  2. Location or region
  3. Church age
  4. Denomination
  5. Cool quotient
  6. Modern building
  7. Big budget
  8. “contemporary” worship
  9. water down teaching
  10. hyper-entertaining program

6 Core Commitments

1. Keychain leadership

Myth: you need a young “hip” leader

Keys refer to the capabilities, power and access of leader who carry the potential to empower people.

Keychain leadership is

  • reciprocal – learn from each other
  • baby steps – take it one step at a time


  • conduct a young leaders assessment
  • empower young leaders to envision new doors with new keys. This may mean no more “business as usual”

2. Fuel a Warm Community

Church is “like family”.

“Warm” is the new cool.


  • Worship gatherings are less like a theater and more like a family room. “Excellence can be the death grip of warmth”
  • Create both onramps and road trips
    • Do 2 week Bible studies and 4 week life groups and then help them commit to something more later
  • Develop a 5:1 ratio
    • There is power of intergenerational relationships
    • 5 adults who are on the same team as 1 student

3. Prioritize Everywhere

Growing churches grow young are prioritizing young people and their families everywhere

Prioritizing young people means…intentionally paying attention to young people


  • Your budget. Your budget is a manifesto of your priorities. How are your investments affecting young people

How important is preaching?

  • Preaching was 6th highest response (12%) that keeps people involved in their church
  • Bad preaching can repel but great preaching is no sure thing
  • You can download good preaching but you can’t download thoughtful mentorship


  • How will young people involved?

Prioritizing young people means prioritizing family.

Create training and communication rhyrtms with parents.

Everyone rises when we focus on young people

For additional resources type “Grow” to 66866 for a FREE Grow Young Assessment

What do you think of the research and how have you seen this in your own Church? Share them and your experiences below or on social media use my twitter handle @tapounder when you share. 

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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