The November 12th, 2007 Newsweek contains an article titled, “Google Goes Globe-Trotting.” The tagline reads, “To train a new generation of leaders, the search giant sends young braniacs on a worldwide mission.”
The article was a quick read, but left me feeling quite convicted (once again) that it is time for change within the church.
Google sent 18 of their APM (Associate Product Managers) on a sixteen day trip to four different countries this past summer. The aim of the trip was to see firsthand the unwired ways of life experienced by billions around the world. Throughout the course of the article we are introduced to Brian Rakowski, the person hired to be responsible for Gmail at the age of 22; Jini Kim, a 26 year-old prepping to make a big presentation on Google Health, and Nick Baum, the 24 year-old responsible for Google Reader.
According to the article Google’s APM program, “seeks brilliant kids and slots them directly into important jobs – no experience necessary.” These young adults in their early to mid-twenties, are running major projects for a company that is defining the way the internet works. These young go-getters are managing teams of people twice their age and learning as they go.
Which leads me to the pressing question – where are the young adults in our churches?
Denominational leaders lament the lack of young adult clergy in the United Methodist Church as well as within other denominations. Pastors and other local church leaders lament the lack of young adult leadership within local congregations. But what is being doing about it?
It has been said that systems produce exactly the same results they are designed to produce. If this is the case, it would seem that systems within both our denominational structures and local churches will need to change to attract and connect with the talented young adults making a difference in our culture and world. I imagine these changes are happening in particular locations and on small scales, but fear there is much work to be done and that it will be an uphill struggle.
Think about the church you are involved with. Are there young adults? What role are they playing? Do you know of places where young adults are leading and playing vital roles within church leadership? What does this look like, how could it be done to a greater degree in other locations?