The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Leading through service

Young adults choose volunteer opportunities over worship

Today's young adults don't always enter the church the same way they used to, said Kristen Glass Perez. But the way they do enter is still very "Lutheran."

"There are a number of multiple entry points and one clearly is service," said Glass, a chaplain of Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill., and former ELCA director for youth and young adult ministry.

If young adults aren't necessarily in the pews Sunday morning, Glass will tell you that doesn't mean they aren't serving — even leading — the church. And service— responding to the needs of others at home, work, school and church — is in keeping with the tradition of Martin Luther, she added.

Two of the ways in which young adults serve the church happened this summer. First, every summer more than 3,500 young adults staff the church's 145 outdoor ministry sites. Working at camps is the "largest annual gathering of young adults in the ELCA," Glass said.

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