A while ago I started reading the book Sticky Faith. I’ve picked it up again now that we’re through the busy holiday season and continue to love what I read. This book is based on the results of a 4-year longitudinal study (which, for those of you who may not be as passionate about psychology, sociology, and research like I am, means meaning they followed the same people over the course of 4 years to get their data). They interviewed, surveyed and used various other methods of research to gather data from youth group members during their senior year of high school and then the three years after that with the goal of figuring out what makes faith “stick” (or not stick) in their lives.
You can expect more posts about this as I read through the book, but today I wanted to point to a blog post on the Sticky Faith Blog. The author of this post was responding to a previous post discussing young adults leaving the church. Some of the comments made by him and others sound a bit harsh at first, but I believe there is some truth in the statements as well for the Body of Christ as whole. One particular comment that caught my attention was this:
… if you’re a church member or leader, please take a hard look at the ways that you might have allowed your community to become unwelcoming and maybe irrelevant to younger folks. Maybe it’s not so much that young folks have abandoned the church, but that the church has abandoned them.
As for First Trinity, my experience is that this is a place that is very welcoming and relevant to all types of people from all different age groups. This comes through even in the story statements that sort of “define” this place:
- All People Matter
- Rooted and Relevant
- Celebrating Life Together
With that though, there is always room for growth. I want to constantly be on the lookout for ways we can help these three statements be even more true in this place for even more people. I’m not sure of the answers, but I’m excited to continue to read more of this book, do some research of our own in our context and see what things we can do to help faith “stick” in the lives of youth, young adults… and really all of us. I challenge you to do the same!