Effective Church Engagement with Young Adults: An Organizational Case Study

John J Dere, Fordham University


Research has indicated trends regarding increased levels of young adult church disaffiliation in the United States. This single-case study sought to understand the ways in which a large non-denominational Christian church effectively engages with young adults. All research findings were framed within Human Development Theory, which emphasizes multiple stages of human development, each consisting of various desires and needs. Data was collected in the form of public and institutional church documents, field observations, interviews, a focus group, and a questionnaire. Case study participants, which consisted of 36 individuals, were limited to church staff and young adults (ages 18-35) actively involved with the church organization. Research results indicated that the target case exercised intentionality in areas such as establishing relationships with young adults, speaking directly to young adult experiences, maintaining strong spiritual convictions, and creating a casual atmosphere. Concluding analysis included discussion of a list of tangible action steps that church leaders can take in order to more effectively attract and retain young adults as well as recommendations for future research.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Dere, John J, "Effective Church Engagement with Young Adults: An Organizational Case Study" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28414368.