This week I opened each of my courses by handing out slips of paper asking students to answer one question:
What is the most important change you want to make in the church when you get on staff?
I did this before saying anything else. I just compiled their responses. Of course this is not fancy “research” but only a possible indicator of what one might do if they seriously did a research project—but it is still fun to read and might gave some hints on what the emerging generation values and how they intend to change the church
About half of the responses were from sophomores who are just starting out in their ministerial education and the other half were seniors who are just a few months from their first job. The only clear difference between the two groups was the sophomores were slightly more concerned with the lack of spiritual depth in the church than were the seniors.
Here is what they said their #1 priority was to change in the church:
So what do you think? Does this fit with the concerns of those you know who are 18-25? Do any of these match your concerns? What did you want to change in the church when you were a college student? Did it change or is it still an emphasis of yours? What other insights about this emerging generation do you see in this modest little research project?
© Keith Drury, 2005.
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Keith Drury served The Wesleyan Church headquarters in Christian Education and Youth leadership for 24 years before becoming a professor of religion at Indiana Wesleyan University. He is the author of more than a dozen books of practical spirituality, including Holiness for Ordinary People, Common Ground and Ageless Faith. Keith Drury wrote the Tuesday Column for 17 years (1995-2012), and many articles can be found on his blog “Drury Writing.”
Keith Drury retired from full time teaching in 2012. Keith is married to Sharon and has two adult sons and several grandchildren. He is retired in Florida with Sharon and enjoys cycling.