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Community Discussion: Engaging Middle-Aged People

The Question

The 25 to 45 year-old age group is an enormous demographic. Yet a lot of churches have trouble reaching them. This dilemma can be traced to a variety of causes, but what’s important is that we learn how to handle it. Oftentimes these middle-aged people are looking for/need specific things in a church home.

LaWanda Parkins Stacy was dealing with this problem at her own church, and she petitioned our Church Communications Facebook group for advice:

“Hello, all! I currently attend a non-denominational church where a strong majority of our membership is 55 and over. There is a small group of us not in that age demographic that have hearts to serve and are wanting to engage more people in the 25-45 age range. Do you have any recommendations on how you are engaging 25 to 45 year-olds? Any advice will be appreciated.”

The Answers

Thankfully are group members have some great advice to help LaWanda and maybe even you find solutions to this issue:

“Family-based ministry: something realistic to family schedules and families that have small children. My husband does a parent/teen conference to help parents communicate with their teens.” – Megan Lynn

“Life skills classes (financial, parenting, etc), community service projects, ask them to run the church Facebook page and then suck them into working for you and leading various ministries…wait…that might just be me ” – Amber Hassler

“Don’t assume that demographic has children. Think broadly. Tracks for families, young, married, and early career. How about weekly fellowship groups? Biking? Hiking? Culture (art and museums)?” – Carol Simmons

“It would be cool to begin with a fellowship that brings the group close together and then point them towards service. I can see 25 to 45 year-olds wanting to discover new things, so putting together events that are exciting and different could be an attention grabber. Then every month you can choose a service project and break up men and women. The younger women can learn from the older ones and the same for the guys. For example, say there are older women that know how to knit. In December, you could have them knit blankets to deliver to a nursing home and incorporate prayer to the residents.” – Brisa Castro

“Having fought this battle for the past 5 years, keep in mind that anything you do to reach this demographic will need to have the backing of the existing membership behind it if the church is going to sponsor it. And it will have to be staffed/organized/set up by someone. It sounds like you have a willing, but small team that wants to be a part of this. I’d suggest starting small and just inviting people over for dinner to share life and your walk with Jesus together on a schedule that works for your group. My experience as a member of this age group is that we can get teaching everywhere, but we need the community to help us live it out. Anything that can help provide connection is something new people can be invited into and it can grow from there. Larger family-targeted events are good and have their place, but can be a lot to take on if your team is small and your resources are limited.” – Senja Femiano

Conclusion

The group really came through on this one! Middle-aged people really need community, like we all do. Sometimes, it can be hard to find. People in your church can work to cultivate Christ-centered community for this age group. Pray that God would raise up leaders to organize home groups or service opportunities. Maybe you are that leader. If your church is struggling to reach 25 to 45 year olds, consider the advice featured from our group members. Go build community!

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