Crossed Wires: Misunderstandings from Families and Faith Leaders Regarding the Spiritual Needs and Desires of the Contemporary Family

As Christian religious institutions of all sizes and kinds emerge from the shutdowns enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic, many ask, “Where are the young families? What can we do to get them back? Why are they choosing not to come? What are we doing wrong?” All of this is leading to a high level of burnout for lay and ordained leadership. Everyone is looking for answers. This workshop will give some answers to these questions, sharing research conducted with both caregivers and congregational leaders. Data revealed that congregational leaders perceive the lack of engagement from families as a lack of interest at best and, at worst, a devaluing of spirituality and faith over and against other pursuits. However, caregivers revealed that they deeply value spirituality and issues of faith. Current parents are the children of yesterday’s church whose experiences were less than positive and sometimes even hurtful. Today, these parents feel a need to do something different. As a result, they are not disinterested in spirituality. They just aren’t convinced institutionalized forms of instruction and formation are the best choice for their children. Perhaps the isolation of Covid-19, for better or worse, further validated this assumption. How do we bridge the gap? Join us as we consider some potential pathways for congregations looking for new ways to meet the needs of families.



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Speaker: Cheryl Minor