WeConnect is the ministry arm of by design ministries that is dedicated to young women. As church attendance has fallen off among millennials, by design is taking action to discover trends, to seek out ways to encourage faithful millennials, and to reach this generation for Christ.
During the first year of the WeConnect ministry, we have conducted nearly 50 interviews with women in their 20s and 30s and have discovered some intriguing trends, which we have been sharing in monthly updates. In the past few months, the updates have included findings such as:
- Those who were encouraged, not just allowed, to think critically about their faith during their teenage years were more likely to stay in the faith. Many of those who claim a vital relationship with God were, at some point, challenged by an adult to ask hard questions about God and faith, and not just to accept their parents’ faith at face value.
- For many of the young women who left the faith, their experience growing up in the church never focused on a relationship with God. Despite the fact that many of the churches were Bible-believing and teaching churches, there was a disconnect. Their perception was that faith = church culture and moral behavior. They never understood that there is a big difference between faith = church and faith = knowing God personally.
- Nearly every young woman who was interviewed had a Season of Decision when she either made her faith her own or jettisoned her faith. Those who left the faith often had no positive Christian contact or support once they left home, whereas those who retained their faith had positive, non-parent Christian mentors who challenged their faith during this critical time.
- Throughout these interviews are woven stories of God’s pursuit – young women who were quite certain that Christianity was not for them, only to be pursued by God so ardently that they could not help but return to the God who loves them.
Wow! Crazy insights, right? And learning about those perspectives is the first step towards reaching the hearts of millennials. When we get down to it, leading the next generation and encouraging their relationships with the Lord isn’t just a preference … it’s our calling. Time and time again God commands us to share our faith with the next generation. Except now it seems as if the next generation speaks a different “spiritual language” than we do! So what happens next? For the sake of the gospel, we need to adapt. Not by changing the message of the gospel but by changing the way we present it. And that’s what we’re figuring out as we conduct these interviews, with the goal of reaching millennial hearts for Christ.
Come and share the adventure with us.
Kristi Stoughton, Director of WeConnect, is a native of New Hampshire, where she currently resides with her husband and their two sons. As a speaker for women’s events, Kristi has a passion for women to know God’s love deeply. She loves to share about the joyful, exciting, heartbreaking, beautiful, victorious, rollicking adventure that is Life in Christ! Kristi hasn’t yet met a craft that she doesn’t like, and thanks her husband for his kind indulgence as she gleefully stockpiles crafting supplies she “might need some day.” Kristi loves playing her guitar and singing on her church’s worship team as well as serving with her musical “sister chicks” as the worship team for women’s retreats and other events. You can visit her online at www.krististoughton.com.