If this is your first time reading this series on REACHing people for Christ, make sure to go back through the previous blog posts and read them. So far we’ve heard about how to reach kids, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college-age students. Today we move on to adults.
We’ll be hearing from Chris Norman – a good buddy of mine who pastors Kingsfield Church in Aliso Viejo, CA. I’ve known him for about a year or so, ever since he came to speak at a retreat we had at Calvary Albuquerque when I was the middle school youth pastor there. He’s a great guy with plenty of ministry experience. If you’re ever out his way, make sure to swing by his church – you’ll love it!
Make sure to email a link to this blog to your pastor or pass it onto someone who could use it!
1. Introduce yourself a little. Who are you?
I was born in 1975 and grew up in So. Cal. after I graduated High School… When I graduated High School, there were two passions that drove my life. One was a deep passion for the Lord and a calling to serve Him with my life, the other was for a girl named Tatum that I wanted to make my wife. I went off to Bible college and after graduating, married my amazing wife Tatum. Today we have 3 kiddos and live in Aliso Viejo California where I pastor Kingsfield Church. I’ve been pastoring here for 3 years now.
2. As someone striving to reach young adults (30-somethings), what are some creative ways to reach them on their level?
I eat, sleep and live the 30-somethings so I guess I kind of have an advantage in this department. Maybe… That is only, of course, if I’m normal by any means. If we’re going to reach 30 somethings we should start by following Paul’s lead and go to where the people are that you’re trying to reach. Where are they? An obvious one is that there on anything electronic.. Text Messaging, Internet, iPod, iPhone, iPad (Hmm…), blogs, Twitter, Facebook. This generation of adults is, of course, the most technologically sophisticated to date and it all serves as great tool.
3. When developing a ministry that sees plenty of young adults come through the doors, what are some important things to keep in mind?
Most young adults in the 30 somethings, seem to have a strong desire to really connect with others in a real way. It’s like everyone is burnt out on the church that you just show up to and spectate. They long to be more than just a spectator at a Sunday show. We do all we can to make sure everyone coming through our doors is valued. Sunday simply cannot just be about a hard-hitting message and a rockin worship team. If you have all that and and never make them a part, we fail. We personally can’t stress enough the importance of our hospitality teams that oversee everything from passing out bulletins, walking new people around, handing out coffee, and hanging with the people. That’s also another reason why we focus so much on Community Groups.
4. How important of a role do volunteers and leaders play in your ministry?
Without volunteers and leaders nothing happens. They really are the backbone of the whole church. The staff can dream all day long but unless there are ministry leaders and volunteers who buy into the vision and jump on board the dreams can never take flight. Not only can they not take flight but those dreams will never see any real flavor because it’s the volunteers who each season those ideas in the unique way they’ve been gifted to. Thats why it’s so important to make sure that ministry leaders and volunteers are being taken care of and poured into. Not that we have got this all figured out, but the idea is that if you just focus on the masses you’ll never reach the masses. Jesus had his 3, 12, 70, and then the masses.
5. What are 1 or 2 lessons that you learned the hard way that stand out to you about ministering to young adults?
Lesson #1 :Care more about them then you do you about being slick… It’s been well said that people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Young adults can see right through a guy that’s just being slick and has no genuine compassion. Lesson #2: Communicate! Communicate, then communicate again the commission that God has given us in His word. We can’t expect young adults to get behind something if they have no clue what the point is – they need to know the agenda. So many are leery because church agendas have often been marred by a ministry leader’s ego on one hand or lack of motivation on the other. It needs to be clear what the agenda is! It’s not something that we’ve created, rather it’s the marching orders that have been given to us in the Word of God. Many churches say it in a thousand different ways but it basically boils down to the great commandment and the great commission. We say “Connecting people to life in Christ”… by ” Connecting them with God, Each Other and the World”
6. What are some great ways to really get into the lives of young adults?
Getting in to the live of anyone takes time, young adult or otherwise. Unless you set that time aside then it will never happen. If a ministry is going to get into someone’s life to the place where there is genuine and honest interaction with that person there must be a commitment to be there for them. A commitment to listen and a commitment to genuinely care. That’s why I love our community groups. It really gives myself and others in our ministry the ability to get into the lives of people. Young adults especially appreciate and respond well.