3 tips to gain momentum in your ministry with young adults

Caleb Roose, MDiv | Mar 11, 2022

If you’ve ever attempted to lead ministry with young adults, you’ve probably had this disconcerting thought more than once:

I don’t know what I’m doing, or where to find out.

You may feel this way for good reason. When it comes to young adult ministry, you’ve probably found little expert advice to rely on, next to no resources, and few networks to tap into. It can even be difficult to describe what young adult ministry is, let alone know how to do it.

At FYI, we’re setting out to change these realities.

Building on over a dozen years of research working intensively with over 40 congregations, 80 ministry leaders, and 80 young adults, we’re launching a collection of young adult ministry tools to provide you with the expert guidance, training, and relationships you need to build a young adult ministry that thrives.

As an FYI young adult ministry coach, I’ve seen firsthand the tremendous difference leaders can make when they focus on young adult ministry now. Young adults want a faith community they can trust and rely on. Will your church be one of them? Here are three tips to start gaining momentum in your ministry with young adults.

Tweet this: Young adults want a faith community they can trust and rely on. Will your church be one of them? Here are 3 tips to start gaining momentum in your ministry with young adults.

1. Listen to the unique realities young adults are navigating today

We’ve all been young adults at one point in our lives, but the world is different than it once was. Young adults are navigating realities that make the path from teenager to established adult much more complicated. For example, society today is changing at an unprecedented pace. Each new social media app ushers in a new way to relate to the world and each other, and many young adults today can’t assume the skills they learn in college or trade school will still be relevant just five years later due to rapid changes in industry norms and technology.

So take time to talk with young adults and simply listen. You’d be surprised how much they’ll open up when they know the person sitting across from them truly cares.

2. Try something new

What was effective with young adults years ago may not be the most responsive strategy to young adults’ needs today. Instead of lamenting their erratic participation in existing services and events, partner with young adults to develop a ministry approach that takes into account their spiritual needs, irregular schedules, and hopes for the church.

Many young adults have dreams for what the church could be, but sadly, few have ever been asked. At FYI, we’ve seen the incredible fruit that comes when church leaders and young adults collaborate together to develop fresh approaches to ministry. 

3. Keep learning

A learning posture is key when it comes to young adult ministry. You’re never going to get to the point where you feel like you have it all figured out (or if you do, it won’t last for long). Keep listening to young adults, trying new things, and learning from the results. And, while you may not have had this option in the past, you can now tap into game-changing training to build a young adult ministry that thrives.


Young Adult Ministry Now

It’s time to take the mystery out of young adult ministry.


We’re launching a brand-new resource collection to help you lead vibrant young adult ministry with confidence and clarity. Be the first to know about Young Adult Ministry Now resources and training. 

Learn More


Caleb Roose, MDiv

Caleb Roose is a project manager at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he advises and facilitates FYI church trainings and research (Youth Ministry Innovations, Ministry Innovations with Young Adults, and Living a Better Story), coaches and consults with churches around the country, and develops resources. The coauthor of Sticky Faith Innovation: How Your Compassion, Creativity and Courage Can Support Teenagers' Lasting Faith with Steven Argue, Caleb is passionate about helping young people wrestle with their faith and encouraging leaders to do the same. Caleb has worked in a variety of ministry and professional roles, including volunteering in youth ministries, serving as an associate pastor of discipleship and administration, counseling at and running youth camps, ministering in six different countries with Youth With a Mission (YWAM), and managing an after-school program for kids. A Southern California native, Caleb lives 30 minutes from his hometown with his wife, Colleen, and two young daughters, Lilah and Eliana.


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