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KIPPERS: Discipling Gen Y & Z into Adulthood

December 21, 2016

This blog first appeared on the Discipleship Institute Blog.

 

KIPPERS: Kids in Parents Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings…

 

Yes it’s a thing! KIPPERS are often seen as young adults of working age, who have finished studying but still living at home. In Melbourne 27% of 20-34 year olds continue to live in the parental home. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Mark McCrindle writes:

 

“Australians in their 20’s have made living with their parents work. Less than 1% cite family conflict as an issue that has caused them to leave home. And parents today are welcoming their adult children back. The Boomers are too young to be empty nesters and despite their complaints, most appreciate having the young ones around”.

 

Housing prices, a lack of career opportunities for new university graduates, and often a lack of direction and clarity, make staying at home a good option for young people. Community is important, particularly for Gen Y (born 1983-1994) and Gen Z (born 1995-2009), and their communities revolve around the family home. Raising house prices force them out of their known communities, churches and connections, often to outer suburbs, with longer travel times, less community support services, and larger debts… so they stay at home longer!

 

But, what effect does this have on discipleship?

 

As young people grow as disciples of Jesus, key transitions of life are often growth points. Things such as finishing Uni/tafe, getting a job, moving out, getting married, all force a re-evaluation of life, a time of challenge and growth, which when well supported by a faith community, leads to growth as a disciple.

 

Due to the changing nature of the world we live in, many of these key transition points are delayed. We are getting married later, moving out later, doing multiple university degrees, and full time jobs can be hard to come by. Our young adults are staying put longer, and their faith can remain, longer than previous generations, in a ‘comfortable’ space.

 

In this environment, we need to actively seek growth in the faith of our young adults, to challenge them, to support them as they discern God’s calling on their life, and to enable and equip them to cooperate with God as he works to grow them as his disciples. McCrindle research says that 34% of our population are 20-39 year olds, but only 21% of those are currently involved in churches. It’s not an easy time to be a young adult disciple of Jesus in Australia. Many either lose their faith over some of these life transitions, especially during their time at university, or are heavily influenced by various campus groups and their agendas.

 

We are no longer living in a Christian world. That time has past. We need to develop resilient disciples, who stand as leaders proclaiming and demonstrating the rule and reign of Christ in this world.

 

Young adults need to be encouraged to grow into fully fledged adult disciples of Jesus Christ. Disciples who are on about joining God in his mission in the world, in whatever way God has gifted, shaped and called them to do. To step out of the KIPPER ‘comfortable’ mindset, even if they don’t step out of the home! To learn to take risks in faith, to follow into the unknown, and to do so in the context of Christian community. To grow a robust trust in the triune God that will guide them in any situation they encounter.

 

The Discipleship Institute has developed LAUNCH with the vision “to equip disciples to live life on mission”. We need a generation of young people living as committed disciples, ready to join God in his mission in the world, who can empower and lead others in whatever God is calling them into. Launch is a GAP year program for 18-25yr olds, which aims to help young people set a firm foundation for their faith, build a framework for understanding God’s mission in the world (not just in the church…), and equip them to live out God’s specific calling for them in His world. It’s a year that will stretch young adults, that will challenge them to trust God even in the unknown, and help them to seek God’s calling for their life and live it out emphatically.

 

Check out the Launch page on the Discipleship Institute website for more info, or to apply.

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