Saturday, October 13, 2007

Late Teens to Mid-40's?

When I served in young adult ministry in the Santa Barbara area, we struggled a bit with how to properly define young adult in terms of age. We knew that we weren't in the same boat as 18-24 yr old folks. We knew that, for the most part (there are always exceptions), young adults in college were in a completely different state of life than those who were out in the working and professional world. We also knew that we were different from those young adults of older ages who had already established families and had very different priorities. We decided that our ministry would target young adults between the ages of 25 and 35 and who were largely not married, or at the very least, did not yet have children. As our ministry grew, we (and I, very reluctantly) extended our target age "upper bound" from 35 to 40.

Just the other day, I received an email from another young adult group in California advertising an event. Their target age was given as "late teens to mid-40s". Really? "mid-40s"? I think that's pushing it to the extreme, and I think that this is a little too wide a range for which to operate an effective ministry.

I think Bill Cork said it best when he spoke on Young Adult Ministry at last year's Fullness of Truth conference in Houston: If you call yourself a young adult, and yet you're old enough to have children who are themselves old enough to be young adults in your same group, I've got news for you: You're not a young adult. You're middle-aged.

The horror!

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