Date of Paper/Work

12-2020

Type of Paper/Work

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Department

Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

William McDonough

Department/School

Spirituality and Leadership, Organizational Leadership

Abstract

Young adults today yearn for purpose, connection, and authentic relationships (Lottes, 2005, p. 135-136). In this transitional age between adolescence and full adulthood, mentorship and encouragement from other adults in their lives can help them see the possibilities of their vocational calling (Price, 2013, p. 94). Church communities have the unique opportunity to support their young adult members in this work as it relates to their personal spirituality and God-given purpose. Through a survey of pastors and other church leaders, alongside a focus group of churchgoing young adults, this research project explored how churches can incorporate mentoring into their ministry strategy to support young adults in the areas of vocational discernment, spiritual growth, and living their faith outside the walls of the church. I used the results of the data collected to develop recommendations for a local congregation, St. Andrew Lutheran, in Eden Prairie, MN, to incorporate mentoring principles into its ministry strategy. I then presented my recommendations to the young adult leadership team at St. Andrew and evaluated the session’s effectiveness through an attendee survey. The results of the research suggest that intentionally creating spaces for informal mentoring to occur within churches can help young adults navigate life transitions in the post-high school and post-college years.

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