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26 October 2015

Building tomorrow's Church today  

Building tomorrow's Church today

Often the phrase ‘young adults and Church’ brings to mind images of young adults leaving the church in their droves, disillusioned and hurt. But, in listening to the voices of the young adults within our churches, this research has found that there are many millennials who are still actively involved in church life and passionate about being part of their church family.

And while the churches they are part of are by no means perfect, this research tells a positive story of how young adults’ faith is developing as they commit to church, serve, give generously and build relationships.

But there is also plenty here to challenge us as a Church, as we hear many young adults say that their churches are not equipping them to share their faith with others, to engage in social action or to live out their faith at work. And we also hear from some young adults who’ve chosen not to belong to a church because of frustrations or hurts.

This resource provides a timely opportunity for us to each reflect on how our own church is listening to and engaging with young adults, prayerfully considering how we may need to change so that we are building tomorrow’s Church today.

Why we undertook this research

As our One People Commission has met regularly over the last few years, many around the table have shared their heartfelt desire for their churches and denominations to be places where young adults are engaged, valued and discipled into following Jesus and becoming leaders in both the Church and society.

The resource Building tomorrow’s church today has come out of these honest conversations, and shows the commitment of One People Commission leaders and the wider Evangelical Alliance to hear from the millennial generation in our churches (those in the 18 to 30s age bracket), to understand their experiences and concerns, and to prayerfully reflect on the implications for each of us in our own contexts. 


Bishop Eric Brown“This research should not just be looked at once and then put in a briefcase or on a shelf. I encourage pastors and leaders to take time to reflect on what this research tells us about the upcoming generation of Christian young adults, and consider how we can shape our programmes and church structures to welcome and include them. For we want every young adult who comes through our church doors to develop and grow into all God has for them.”

Bishop Eric Brown, Pentecostal president of Churches Together in England

Pastor Siew-Huat Ong“The younger generation of 20s and 30s is the future of the UK Church, but also a key part of the Church of today. I am delighted that this research has shone a light into the experiences and beliefs of young adults from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. It is now down to us as church and denomination leaders to reflect on the findings, and prayerfully consider what impact they will have on our own ways of doing church.”

Pastor Siew-Huat Ong, senior pastor of the Chinese Church in London

Kiera Phyo“This research tells some important stories about active young Christians in the UK. We can celebrate that millennial regular church-goers are sharing their faith, taking on roles of responsibility in church, and regularly praying and reading their Bible. But we are also a generation who want to influence society and shift culture. We care about creation and know we are part of a global family. Leadership is informal and digital platforms give us unending opportunities.

These results also present a challenge to the Church. To drive social action, raise up young leaders and equip people in the work place and in their frontline. And also helping us feel confident when we talk about Jesus, rather than awkward.”

Kiera Phyo, head of the youth & emerging generation team at Tearfund


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