[NB. For some reason a portion of this post was appearing imposed over the blog title. I deleted the earlier post.]
How can a pastor attract and keep Young Adults to and in the parish?
Jennifer Fitz has a couple of suggestions.
3. Your homilies provide a substantial education in the business of serving God. A good number of your Catholic young adults are down the street at Faith and Grace Evangelical, where the sermon runs 40 minutes of serious Bible study and exhortation to Christian service. People who are showing up for Jesus don’t want to hear about how special they are. They want to understand the Bible, learn how to pray, and learn how to live. They want instruction. They want reminders. They want to know what it takes to be a saint — like the canonized kind, not the slipped-in-via-purgatory kind — and they want to be pushed towards sainthood every day of the week.
Yes, this means you have to choose. You can keep preaching the “You’re so wonderful!” message to the core group of pewsitters who’ve been coming for that message for the last forty years, or you can start preaching Jesus. You’ll lose some of the I’m So Special crowd, because they’re just there for the affirmation and the doughnut hour. Jesus comes to console, to cherish, to welcome, but all that welcoming doesn’t end with cocktails on the patio. It ends with the Cross. Until you are teaching your congregation how to get up on their cross daily, you aren’t teaching your congregation._______________________
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