Young Adult Ministry Resources
Many resources are available to support you in your young adult ministry work: research, reflections, blogs, and more. We’ve collected some of the best for you here.
Insights about Young Adults and the Millenial Generation
- How We Gather (pdf) A study by Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile on how and where young adults find meaning and community.
- Something More (pdf) a study by Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile on the need for religious innovation to meet the needs of young adults, with 10 case studies of innovative faith communities.
- Future of Faith: Unitarian Universalism and the Millennial Generation. A video presentation by Carey McDonald, exploring these topics from a US perspective.
Reflections and Blogs
- Is It OK to Not Go to Church? A reflection by CUC Youth and Young Adult Ministry staff member Asha Philar on the reasons that church may not appeal to young adults, especially those under 25.
- Blue Boat Blog. The shared voice of youth and young adult ministries of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Posts are written by and for young adults and cover a wide range of topics, including campus ministry, spiritual practice, and social justice.
- Finding a Spiritual Home: Unitarian Universalism for Young Adults (PDF). Reflections by UU young adults on the themes of transitions, community, spirituality, justice, and leadership.
- Seven Reasons Why Young Adults Quit Church and Four More (Big) Reasons Young Adults Quit Church. Blog posts by Christian Piatt, an author, editor, speaker, and musician, on why young adults are not participating in (Christian) churches.
- What If We Wanted Bridging Youth Leaders to Continue Their Work? A reflection by Hazel Gabe, a Canadian UU young adult, on the experience of transitioning from youth to young adulthood in our faith tradition.
Resources for developing young adult ministry
- How to Create Vital Young Adult Ministries. An article from a UUA newsletter for congregational leaders.
- UUA resources for young adults. Dozens of suggestions and links to help people ages 18–35 explore and connect to Unitarian Universalism, including specific sections on resources for congregations, events and trainings, transitions and rituals, social justice spirituality and worship, multigenerational pastoral care, and identity formation.
- UUA resources for campus ministry.
- The Church of the Larger Fellowship. An international online community of UUs offering worship, discussions and support groups, spiritual reflections, family support, and more. Find spiritual community no matter where you are in the world!
Worship and Small Group Ministry Resources from the UUA
- WorshipWeb. A treasure trove of prayers, stories, readings, images, sermons, and rituals. You can find information on multicultural and multigenerational worship, suggestions for incorporating music and technology, and much more. Try searching for spiritual themes like “growth” or “young adults,” or for occasions like “life transition”!
- Multigenerational Worship. Resources and ideas for planning successful, engaging worship services for all ages.
- Youth Spirituality and Worship. A great collection of ideas, links, and resources for planning worship in a young adult group or in a multigenerational setting. Also includes resources for small group ministry.
- Contemporary Worship. Tips and resources for designing and leading dynamic worship services that appeal to young adults and people of all ages.
- Music and Dynamic Worship. How to plan worship services that are moving, impactful, and collaborative.
- Becoming Together (PDF). A small group ministry manual for the book Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood (Skinner House, 2015). Use this guide to plan small group sessions for young adults that address topics like growth and change, identity, roots, family, and love. Includes facilitation tips, suggested readings, and discussion questions.
Books to use for worship:
- Singing the Living Tradition and Singing the Journey (the grey and teal hymnals)
- inSpirit series titles from Skinner House Books
- Earth Prayers from around the World, by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon (HarperOne, 2011)
- Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Songbook, by Peter Blood, Annie Patterson, and Kore Loy McWhirter (Sing Out, 2004)
- Soulful Sundown: Re-imagining Unitarian Universalist Worship for Young Adults, by Marlin Lavanhar (UUA, 1999)
- Rejoice Together: Prayers, Meditations, and Other Readings for Family, Individual, and Small Group Worship, by Helen Pickett (Skinner House, 2005)
Recommended Books for Young Adult Ministry
- Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood, by Kayla Parker (Skinner House, 2015). A wonderful collection of quotes, readings, and reflections by UU young adults that speak to relevant themes. We recommend giving this book to bridging youth as well as young adults. Check out these suggestions for how to use it; it can also be used with Becoming Together (PDF) as a small group guide.
- Heart to Heart, by Alicia Hawkins and Christine Robinson (Skinner House, 2009). A book of small group ministry resources for fourteen gatherings on topics such as forgiveness, loss, nature, money, and friendship. Includes readings, quotes, reflections and discussion questions. Materials for fourteen more gatherings are in the authors’ follow-up volume Soul to Soul (Skinner House, 2011).
- Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church. This text from the Fuller Youth Institute is based on extensive research. It’s from a Christian perspective, but has plenty of insight applicable to Unitarian Universalist congregations. Bart Frost, director of the UUA Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, calls it an incredibly useful tool.