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Why Young Adult Ministry?

One of the most common questions we get asked in CONVERGE is:

"Why have a Ministry specific to Young Adults? Wouldn't everyone benefit from a multi-age ministry like Converge?"

This is a great question, and we wanted to take a moment to respond.

Young Adults are one of the most consequential yet often ignored groups within a parish. As young people have left the Church in droves over the past years, Young Adults serve a more important role than ever before. Unlike other groups within parishes, young adults are the generation of transition. While children and older adults often have established patterns and support structures in parishes that enable community building, young adults often move and change jobs frequently. Their entire vocation can be understood from the perspective of “Transition.” In a stationary and established parish, this can pose challenges. Young Adults often find themselves removed from their parents and childhood support structures for the first time, and can struggle to find avenues to connect in parishes. Even those who joined a Catholic Community in college report the same challenge as they graduate college and enter the workforce. The culture has changed and young adults find themselves more isolated and lonely than ever before.

Yet, these Young Adults are the next parents of children for faith formation. They are the next vocations for a Diocese. They are the next civic leaders. The Church cannot ignore this incredibly important milestone. These Young Adults, like all people, are starving for community and a place to belong. The Church is called to be this, yet the local parish is not easily conformed to a group that changes rapidly and does not necessarily establish roots right away. Young Adults often move between parishes based on what Mass time fits into their hectic lives, and so will often hesitate to call any one community “home.” Yet, their inability to commit long-term does not mean parishes should ignore their needs.

Young Adult Ministry seeks to establish relationships, build community, and welcome those who find themselves in new environments for the first time. Young Adult ministry seeks to form the next generation of disciples. Moreover, in a culture of increasing polarization, Young Adult Ministry opens avenues for dialogue and mutual respect. This is especially true when it comes to evangelization. Young Adult Ministry is the front lines of the New Evangelization. As Young Adults are often the largest and most vocal group who has left their faith, their voices bring incredible insight into the needs and failures present within current parish systems. While we might presume Young Adults tend to leave due to frustration with Church teaching, our experience with Young Adults has shown that their disaffiliation with parishes began long before any particular theological disagreement. More often than not, their stories testify to hypocrisy, over-zealous judgment, and improper conduct within the very parishes that were meant to support them. Young Adult Ministry provides a space for the practicing and non-practicing alike to not only be heard, but encounter the faith anew in a safe and supportive community where they can experience Christ’s healing presence.

CONVERGE works hard every day to become such a place of healing.

We invite you to join us in this mission.

To learn more about CONVERGE - Please visit our "About" Page on our website

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