Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Darren E. Hercyk


church attendance, young adults, church growth


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


The purpose of the study was to address the problem of low attendance and engagement among young adults at Grace Place Christian Church. This topic is given consideration based on the researcher’s observation of the absence of this demographic within the local ministry context. The literature review revealed this is a common problem throughout the Body of Christ. Grace Place Christian Church is a predominately African American within a military community. The unique characteristics of this ministry context warranted research specific to it. The researcher interviewed twenty unchurched young adults and ten pastors and collected over one hundred nine questionnaires related to the problem. A focus group developed a strategic intervention. The intervention was implemented within the local ministry context. The study revealed hindrances to young adult attendance and participation due to cynicism, a general mistrust of Christians whom they perceive as hypocritical, intolerant, dismissive of intellectual inquiry, and negligent of their perceived responsibility of activism supporting moral progress and social justice. The intervention devised and implemented within this ministry context yielded positive results over a ninety-day evaluation period. Further study is needed to determine if immediate results will hold, increase, or decrease over a more extended evaluation period. The perpetuation of Christianity and the message of Christ is inextricably tied to the church’s ability to transfer leadership from one generation to the next. Thus, the attendance and participation of young adults are critical to sustaining the church.