Reaching out to young, single adults is quickly becoming a necessity for religious leaders. In the July/August issue of the Futurist, Aaron M. Cohen addresses the lack of programs in organized religion for singles between 20 and 45 years old. With most spiritual activities geared toward elderly folks and married couples with children, it’s no wonder that singletons aren’t finding the welcoming support they need. Adding programs that interest young and single people could help quell the national participation decline in organized religion.
One evangelical church in Concord, North Carolina, has already adapted services for today’s individualistic, tech-savvy generation. The Concord First Assembly has a community for young single adults called the “Underground,” which “offers espresso, pool tables, satellite TV, and free wi-fi” to participants. Rather than set an alarm for Sunday morning worship, members can attend the 7 p.m. “Underground” service. The group also has a profile on MySpace and Facebook, an approach that may help congregations connect with younger members.
Cohen says that, “while the internet will likely become the medium that people turn to most often when seeking religious information, it is unlikely that the virtual church, synagogue, or mosque will replace its real-world counterpart anytime soon.” It seems that the physicality of worship is one tradition that won’t lose to the era of increasingly impersonal communication.