Sticky Faith

Dear Friends of Kenilworth Union Church,

Have I told you about the 5-adult rule? First, indulge me in some church trivia: Did you know that ministers at Kenilworth Union Church have presided over the baptism of nearly three thousand people since the church’s founding in 1892? To set the scene more clearly, did you know that more than half—or fifteen hundred—of the three thousand baptisms at Kenilworth Union occurred in the twenty years between 1985–2005? The booming cohort of infants baptized in 1985 are now turning thirty, while the youngest from that era are now turning ten, beginning the long climb to adulthood.

When a child is baptized, parents and congregation both make promises to the child being baptized.  Parents promise to teach the Christian faith to their child. The congregation promises to guide and nurture the child in their midst. What practices might allow people of all ages to wear their baptismal identity as God’s beloved child as if it were a precious garment instead of just one more outgrown outfit on its way to the rummage sale?

Enter the 5-adult rule. Research in youth ministry suggests that in order for youth to develop sticky faithfaith that sticksthey need to be part of an intergenerational web of relationships. And thus, the 5-adult rule. Youth need a web of at least five adults who know them by name, who say hello to them when they show up for worship, who invite them to church fellowship events, who wonder how they are when they are not at Church.

Godparents, Sunday school teachers, grandparents, Confirmation mentors, youth group volunteers, and even our Sunday morning greeters can all be part of the web of sticky faith. It makes me wonder what the church will be like in 2050. Who will be there, of the fifteen hundred baptized here from 1985–2005? Help be a part of our sticky faith team, to foster faith into the next generations. Do you want to renew your promises and become more involved in our sticky faith youth ministry? Let us know. This just might be God’s way of sending you an official invitation.

Blessings to you, Katie