Tuesday, August 13, 2013

ADULTS: Bible Study and Making Connections

People keep asking me how to keep kids involved after confirmation; how to keep kids involved after the youth group; how to get adults involved. I am just one small girl (ok, I'm actually tall) with a humble opinion but I think the problem begins with the adults and trickles down to the kids, not the other way around. So the question becomes what are you doing for adults? Which begs the question, what do adults need from a church? Let's think about adults. Within every congregation there are:
  • Newly married couples.
  • Married couples with children.
  • Married couples without children.
  • Single parents, male and female.
  • Younger singles.
  • Older singles.
What are their common needs? They need Bible study and they all need personal connections. Work is comfortable because we make friends there. Church needs to be the same way. How do we help make this happen? What opportunities do we provide? First we pray about it, then we make an honest appraisal of how we do things and maybe make a few changes.

Bible Study
Be sure it's relevant, interesting, and challenges their beliefs. It's when we're challenged and have to defend what we believe that it becomes concrete. If you need a reminder regarding teaching adults look at my previous postings, one called It's Not What You Teach - It's How You Teach and another one with tips on teaching adults called A Sage on the Stage.

Personal Connections
Most adults, whether male or female, married or not, are starving for real personal connections. The challenge in churches is that people don't ever seem to want to be vulnerable enough to let people see them. We're all trying to be ok, show how our families are always great, and that we never have any real problems. Most relationships start when people get together to do something so they can learn to trust and become vulnerable. You can either try tons of new ideas for men's ministry and women's ministry with suitable activities for each or you can do something really crazy and FIND OUT by simply asking them how they can best be served. 

The best idea would be to find ways to make your adult Bible study a place where adults can both learn and make personal connections. Sitting in a pew listening to the pastor talk and answer his own questions with a few comments by the brave will not cut it. 

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