"Graying" of Adventism
The median age for the Seventh-day Adventist community in North America, including the un-baptized children in church families, is 58. The median age for the general public is 36 in the U.S. and 37 in Canada. Among native-born White and Black members the median age is even higher.
These demographic realities affect many things. There are more than 1,000 local churches in the North American Division that have no children or teens at all. The pool of people in the age group who might attend Adventist schools is getting smaller and smaller. Fewer and fewer congregations have enough teens, young adults or even young couples to provide the critical mass necessary to conduct a youth group and other activities that have always been the lifebeat of Adventist churches.
How can this trend be turned around?
1. Really love the youth for who they are and not how to make them more like you.
2. Accept the fact that Jesus created the church to enable us to serve others, not make ourselves comfortable. 3. Engage new generations—listen to people younger than you, empower them and give them the freedom to make the church and the faith their own.
4. Realize that if adults resist ownership of the church by the youth, the church will die.
INNOVATIONewsletter, November 3, 2006, The Center for Creative Ministry