It is no secret that the gap between young adults and Christian congregations is widening. There are many factors to this dynamic reality. Certain characteristics of today’s young adults and their culture make them less inclined to seek out a congregation, or any institution. Certain characteristics of today’s congregations make them less appealing to young adults. We do know young adults are not rejecting faith or religion. We do know many are living out their faith in vibrant ways at innovative intersections such as: faith and political activism, faith and the arts, faith and environmental stewardship, and interfaith engagement. The Riverside Innovation Hub will help congregations become engaged with young adults at these intersections and at others we may discover along the way.
The riverside is a place of transformation. We are made new at the riverside.
Innovation happens as we respond to God’s call and our neighbors’ lives.
We are called into transformation and innovation together, as a community.
Partnering & Innovating with Congregations
In the spring of 2018, faith communities discerning a call into deeper ministry with young adults submitted applications for a learning partnership with the Riverside Innovation Hub. Sixteen unique faith communities from the Twin Cities were invited Track 1 Partnerships which includes a four-year commitment to coaching, innovating, experimenting, and evaluating around the learnings that emerge in their work with young adults. After year-one of participating in intentional listening and learning work with a young adult Innovation Coach, partner faith communities will be invited to submit sub-grants of $25,000-$30,000 to fund ideas for ministry informed by their contextual learning.
Current Partnership Opportunities
We welcome interested faith communities to apply to become a Track 3 Partner. Faith communities in this track are committed to attending learning events at Augsburg throughout the life of the project and taking back insights to their own context. Without an innovation coach or sub-grant funds, Track 3 faith communities benefit from participating in the larger conversations emerging from this project and have the freedom to customize how they utilize the relationships and learnings through RIH in their own communities.
Research & Development
June 2017 - July 2018
Equipping & Discerning
August 2018 - August 2019
Experimentation & Adaptation
September 2019 - August 2021
Evaluation & Dissemination
September 2021 - July 2022
The Public Church Framework & Best Questions [Blog Collection]
Our research shows that young adults do not like to be ‘targeted.’ We are fairly certain innovation, theologically understood, is …
Accompaniment — Being The Church Beyond The Walls
By Jeremy Myers, PhD The Public Church Framework begins in accompaniment. This sounds and looks great on paper, but …
Best Questions in the Public Church Framework
By Jeremy Myers, PhD The Public Church Framework was described in an earlier blog post. This blog post shifts gears …
Ezekiel and the Public Church: Everything Will Live Where the River Goes
By Jeremy Myers, PhD The Riverside Innovation Hub is convinced of two things. First, we are fairly certain young …