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If your church is missing the twenties to thirties age group, sadly you are not alone. This is the common story across the UK. There are many reasons why this is the case, but it causes the church a serious problem… and the consequences of ignoring it will be seen in the years to come with dying, ageing and empty churches.So what can we do and how do we do it?
In this little book, Kay Mumford asks these very questions and begins to work through practical answers that will challenge, equip and enthuse you in your ministry with young adults. Kay has over 15 years of experience of battling against the trend that 20s – 30s ‘don’t do church’ – and though this book won’t give you every answer, it is designed to be a springboard that will refocus your vision and excite you about what God can do when we live out and teach His Word.
Please click here to view the missing generation blog for ideas and tips on how to capture the ‘missing generation’.
Kay Mumford (Née Dawson) has worked with young Christian adults (aged 18–40) for more than 15 years. This experience has been in a university context, through the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF), and for the last seven years at St Andrew the Great Church in Cambridge. Her main focus has been in the areas of evangelism, discipling, pastoral care and training leaders. Kay married Alan in December 2012. Together, they continue to have a heart and a ministry among young adults in the church.
A superb practical manual
Subtitled as ‘a practical guide to 20s–30s ministry’, this concise book covers huge swathes of practical detail on developing anã€€‘every–member ministry’ and making godly young disciples of Christ. Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ model offered, the standpoint is decidedly British conservative evangelical.
The book has numerous extended quotes from various seasoned ministers who’ve run groups to disciple adults under 40, as well as from those who’ve grown greatly within such groups. Each chapter begins with a biblical quote or two to give the undergirding principles; then there are copious bullet–points which give thorough practical application and examples.
The book begins by outlining why there is a crying need for UK churches to strategically disciple those in their 20s and 30s, and then gives numerous ideas about how to structure this into the life of the church.
It also outlines the common idols facing this age–group today, and how to develop one–to–one discipleship, an evangelistic strategy, a loving community, and a church where everyone is active in service.
The final chapter covers the development of future leaders, followed by useful appendices on various event ideas, UK courses and salient books.
This reader particularly enjoyed the chapter on pastoral issues, which included punchy analysis and then testimonies from those struggling with issues such as pornography, depression, anorexia, singleness and self–harming.
Whilst avoiding clichés and quick fixes, some pointers are given for those trying to bring pastoral wisdom to bear on such issues. Sadly, the treatment of counselling was rather dismissive, but perhaps that reflects the influence of secular thought in much that passes for counselling in the UK church at this time. Nonetheless, emphasis was rightly given to the prime place of pastoral care within a loving church family.
In short, this is a superb practical manual, which would greatly aid most UK churches to develop their ministry among the 20s and 30s. Additionally, it would probably be a useful aid in giving any church a radical MOT in how it practically seeks to make disciples of people, no matter what their age.
Massive experience and wisdom are brought to bear brilliantly in a concise, readable, practical book.
The practical examples and testimonies are especially valuable, as is Kay's sheer realism about young adult work in churches—it's vital and this book shows good ways to begin and develop such work in local churches
Missing Generation - Tim Hodge, NZ. www.tscf.org.nz
I've really appreciated Kay's work. She's very clear about the why as well as the how, acknowledge the huge societal shifts for 20s-30s in the western world. Lots of practical ideas to muse and try and I look forward to Kiwifying them both in my work with university students of all ages and in our local church with the wider young adults groups.