Rethinking outreach

Seeds
05/31/2013

Rethinking outreach

Since young and senior members share the same Christian values, neither will be lured in by the latest fad in media and technology.

While attempting to integrate new forms of communication that are meaningful to various age groups, pastors need to give parishioners opportunities to build relationships and tell their stories.

Below are some considerations for rethinking outreach to twenty- and thirtysomethings.

• Recognize that, for young people, electronic communication is often just as real as face-to-face interaction. According to Technological Horizons in Education Journal, young people use technology to enhance socialization among peers, family members and even authority figures. For young people, computers aren't a barrier to communication but are rather a tool to connect deeply with others.

• Members of all ages benefit from understanding the meaning behind the symbols used in our worship service. Our long-standing members have had years to internalize our church traditions, but even they may not know the story behind the ritual. Take time to teach congregants about the significance of the liturgical calendar, changes in parament colors, festival days and the order of service.

• Carefully choose the time and day of the week you offer social events. Talk with families and become aware of school and sports calendars. Events right after church may work better for busy families instead of an evening event during the week.

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