Growing Young Team:
Doug Johnson, Director of Youth and Family Ministries
Growing Young Assessment
At the Annual Meeting on January 28, we saw a short presentation introducing the Growing Young Team and an upcoming survey aimed at helping us engage and connect with our families. This survey is based on the work of the Fuller Youth Institute.
It’s very important that we hear from all of you! Every Saint Andrew’s member age 14 and older is invited to participate.
The survey is open from February 11 – March 3. It is online only (a link was emailed to congregation members. If you did not receive it, contact Doug Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org, and he can send it to you.)
For those who want to complete the assessment at church, volunteers with online access will be available before and after services on Sundays in the Faith and Family Center.
In the spring of 2023 we announced that a small team of people from our congregation was working on ways to better minister to our families and families of our communities. We have been using two books as our guide in this process: Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries and Growing Young by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin. Sustainable Youth Ministry provides an incredible guide and framework on how to build a ministry for the long term. Using the imagery of building a house the book sets forth processes and systems on how to build sustainable, healthy, and long-term children, youth, and family ministry. Growing Young provides six core commitments that the authors recommend congregations follow that have proven effective if they want to “grow young,” meaning prioritizing young people and families. This book brings together over 10,000 hours of research alongside countless stories of how congregations have new life (for all ages, not just young families) through the six core commitments. Using these books as a guide we have been learning and growing. We also have been having conversations with our families to try and better understand where we are. During that time, two things happened. First, we realized that there was a lot more learning about ourselves and our congregation that we need to do. Second, Fuller Seminary and the Fuller Youth Institute – the people responsible for the research in Growing Young – put out new resources, specifically the Growing Young Assessment. The team, in conversation with the Discipleship Ministries Committee and Council, decided that there was a lot of value in having our congregation do the assessment. We are excited to see what the results are of this assessment and are happy to help you with any questions that you may have. Please reach out to any of the team members if you have any questions.