Sunday, 4 November 2018

A Young Problem

Here's a problem, or dilemma, which is open for discussion and suggestions from all of you dear readers.

Simply put: How do we attract young people to church?

As you know, young people always know best. By the time they are 19 they know everything there is to know in the world and beyond, and they are not open to suggestions, advice or coercion from any old foggy aged over 35.

If you visit our church, (and other churches too around here), you'll find the average age of the attendants is well over 50.

I don't know whether this is only a Catholic thing, or whether it happens to other denominations too.

Are we Catholics that boring? Or is it perhaps our use of incense that puts the youngsters off?

The long and short of it is that they don't attend church. We've tried encouraging parents to bring youngsters in, and indeed we do have those under ten or twelve, but above that age ... not many.

We've tried visiting universities and colleges ... not much success there either.

Someone suggested, (was it me?), to give away free pizzas after Mass. (You can guess the response to that).

So ... it is now over to you.

How do you encourage young people aged 18 to 25, who would soon be parents and influencing the next generation, to attend church regularly?

Yes ... we've tried prayers ...  so please suggest something else.

18 comments:

  1. "Are we Catholics that boring?"

    Hahaha... :) ...no.

    I think only the Lord can bring people in. Our church is loud and sometimes I want quiet and boring, but I am where the Lord led me. Ask Him. Maybe you are a church for 50-somethings.

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    1. Good point, Sandi. We have different "types" of Masses - e.g. some with guitars to accompany the hymns, some with just the organ, and some with no singing at all.

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. I think yours is a concern shared among many parishes. Mind you, I'm a far ways from my youth, but still appreciate contemporary music and messages which apply to the here and now.

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    1. I often wonder whether it is just a generation gap, or whether as a nation the UK is becoming more secular anyway. Over here it is just not trendy and "cool" to be a Christian. Not many celebrity Christian role models either.

      God bless you, Mevely.

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  3. That is a pertinent question, Victor, not just confined to the Catholic Church. I really think the secular influence of the world can become too much for young people, even when they've been brought up in the church. I so want my daughter and son-in-law, who attended church regularly years ago, would return if only for the sake of my three granddaughters. I've hinted, but I don't want to push too hard. I know prayers have been mentioned, but I still keep praying that God will lead them in the right direction.
    Blessings!

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    1. As I mentioned to Mevely, I believe it is the secular and materialistic influence at play here. You are correct, Martha. Sadly, I have grown up family members who have stopped going to church. Somehow, they just stopped believing. And I pray ...

      Praying for you and your family, Martha.

      God bless you all.

      Delete
  4. Our church is a busy church with lots of activities for all ages. We have many ministries so there is something there for everyone all with the goal in mind to save souls.
    My church is a happy church and our Pastor is a man who lives what he preaches. We are so blessed to be part of our church.

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  5. I am not sure how they do it, but the church I attend is filled with young families and college aged worshipers. I do live in a college town. Church attendance historically has followed trends and the current trend is non-denominational (such as the church I attend). Worship has morphed into the non-liturgical, band lead, free concept. I am not sure I really like this, but if it brings people to Jesus. Let's use it!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. You make a good point Lulu. The Catholic Church, generally, is liturgical in its worship. We do have some Masses where we have guitar playing and more "with it" hymns compared to the old style ones. I feel our problem is that we are fighting against the trend. It is not fashionable to be a Christian these days, and to attend church is so "old hat".

      We are in a University town with colleges; and many of our church attending families have children in their upper teens - bit still they can't get them to church.

      God bless.

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  6. Fascinating conversation, Victor. We continue to learn from each other ...

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  7. I agree with your points, and think the key is to help people (ANY people, not just youngsters) realize that going to Mass is something they need to do for themselves, not out of a sense of duty or obligation. In other words, go because you want to, not because you feel you have to.

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    Replies
    1. Brilliantly said, Kathy. Thank you so much.

      God bless you always.

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