It’s About Results, Not Just Good Intentions.


What is the average length of time you remember a sermon? How often do you feel affirmed by your congregation in your individual efforts to make a positive change in the world? What is the average monthly church attendance rate of parishioners at your congregation? How would members under age 25 rate the relevance of the sermon to their life?

Before joining Generation Spark, I had never heard these questions discussed. It feels out of place to discuss these goals at church. After all, does falling short of the goals mean God’s work isn’t being done? The stakes are so high!

Shifting the mindset toward becoming more goal-oriented adds an element of pressure. However, it’s time. As a youth, I see that many of my peers have become disillusioned with the church. This has lead to their complete dissociation with organized religion or, at best, compartmentalized church attendance on Sundays.

We, the youth, are getting tired of programs coming from good intentions. We’ve attended many youth groups, Bible studies and other activities centered around young adults. Somehow, they are missing the mark. The youth exodus from the church is proof that something isn’t quite working.

As a member of the Evaluation Team for Generation Spark, I am excited to discover the tangible results of the program. After months of developing assessments by working with experts at the Frost Research Center and gathering feedback from youth, the team is seeing the fruits of labor in our initial results. It’s time for the truth. Church youth deserve results.

Published by Kaelyn Tarsa

Hope College '18. Consultant at the Center for Leadership. Phi Betta Kappa Member.

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