Finding Identity, Belonging, and Purpose
Research being done around Generation Z shows us that Emerging Adults (EAs) primarily care about three core things: identity, belonging and purpose. The goal of TEAM (The Emerging Adult Mission) is to be a missional community that meets all three of these desires. Before I break down what those three things mean to EAs and how TEAM aims to meet them it’s important to define what a missional community is. Very simply a missional community is a group of people who come together to share life with one another and serve the world as a part of God’s greater story.
When EAs think about identity they ask, who am I? The world has countless answers for that question; answers that often communicate lack. The goal of TEAM is to communicate that they are enough…because of Jesus. They are beloved children of God created in His image.
Emerging Adults are transitioning out of what they have known their whole lives and into new circumstances. Whether it is new schools, jobs, or responsibilities – this is a season of a lot of change. In the midst of these huge transitions one question lingers, where do I belong? Our simple answer is with God’s people. They belong in our community. They will be welcomed not just into our home but into the family of God. They are, in fact, a vital part of the TEAM.
Generation Z perhaps more than any generation before is constantly asking the question, what is my purpose? There is a quote in the book Growing Young by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder and Brad Griffin that says; “Young people don’t just want to be saved from something later; they want to be saved for something now.” We believe that their purpose is to be a part of God’s greater story, that what they are saved for is service, mission, and the growth of God’s Kingdom.
TEAM wants to empower EAs through training and equipping them (discipleship) to take their heart for serving others and the empathy that they have for the world and help them become leaders in their community. Helping them spread the good news of Jesus through service, demonstrating to a skeptical world that the church is on active mission; a mission that EAs were designed and created to be a part of (actually we all were). “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” Ephesians 2:10
The way TEAM will foster identity, belonging and purpose is with a once a month dinner; taking place on the second Monday of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 at the parsonage. During this time together we will have conversations about the Church, Scripture, and mission. This open invitation dinner will be the entry point to building relationships that are then fostered all month long. Throughout the month Danny and I will meet with individuals and small groups of EAs for discipleship or mentorship, to help them both understand their identity, belonging, and purpose and also to train and equip them as leaders in the community. In addition to these two core steps the group will come together and decide on a mission that they are passionate about and want to be a part of. Danny and I will then help them execute it or partner with the pre-existing organization to bring forth the good news of Jesus in the world this will help EAs see their identity in Christ, their place within the Church, and their purpose on Mission.
Regardless of faith, background or culture we are excited to welcome in EAs and foster conversation, connection and change while helping them find true meaningful answers to their questions surrounding identity, belonging, and purpose.
We appreciate the many of you who have already invited the EAs in your life to join us, please keep inviting! We also appreciate the outpouring of prayers as we launch this new ministry. Even if you are not an Emerging Adult by praying for us (and them) you are a vital part of the TEAM. In Christ,
Next Generation Pastor