Narcissism and apathy are out. A growing number of Christians say too many young people have checked out of the churchmentally or physicallyand they aim to bring them back by making not fewer demands, but more.
"A lot of folks in my age group are hungry to do something; they just don't know what," said Brian Mosley, 25. He founded Rightnow, a Plano, Texas, organization five years ago when he was still a student at Baylor University. Its goal is to help connect young Christians with service opportunities. Rightnow has started sponsoring conferences to reach out to this demographic.
During the first conference, Heather Mercer, an American aid worker who spent three months in a Taliban prison (ct, July 8, 2002, p. 26), and Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney worked to energize some 2,000 20- to 30-year-olds at "Fusion+Dallas" in November. Participants spoke one-on-one with representatives at several booths set up by mission-sending agencies and other help organizations.
Fusion is one of several evangelical efforts focusing on the twentysomething age group. The Dallas conference included more than 130 Dallas-Fort Worth area churches, including Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, and Church of Christ representatives. Founders took some inspiration from the Passion movement started in 1995 by Louie Giglio. That movement focuses more on worship and targets college students and a limited number of high-school seniors.
A Passion '05 gathering is set for January 2-5 in Nashville. Mosley's Rightnow organization had booths at earlier Passion events, including one last year in Sherman, Texas, that drew 60,000 students.
Such groups are seeking to recapture a generation of young adults. According to pollster George Barna and other ...