* Nieces and nephews are a thing. Even if you don’t have kids and don’t study Piaget, you learn about child development and age-appropriate gifts.
* owning a house or a condo is a thing… and your friends exchange tips about how to fix a toilet.
* Your parents retire and get old and talk about dying and you have to come to grips with what that means for you.
* more and more people in your friend group are divorced and you have to deal with what you think about divorce.
* your metabolism slows down and you have to figure out how to eat less and exercise more just to maintain your figure. Your friends start running half marathons and triathlons
* you start to realize that 24 year olds are different from you in a lot of ways
* you go to bed earlier and you don’t mind
* you are more comfortable in your own skin and do more of what you want to do versus what “people are doing”
* you start to realize you have a lot of experience that other people don’t necessarily have, and this leads to you talk like a grandpa and give people advice starting sentences with, “when I WAS YOUR AGE….”
UPDATE March 2016
It has been two years since I stopped leading young adult ministries. Several people I know from church approached me for advice on starting a “Single Widowed or Divorced” (SWORD) ministry … and so I created the following discussion guide:
The “Thought Lives” matrix is intended to provoke discussion about the differences between 20-somethings and 30-somethings in the church. It is based on my 15 or so years doing ministry at WEAG young adults. It is also based on watching my own life situation change (as well as the life situation of my friends) as I progressed through my 30s (For a longer treatment of “my story” go to this link à https://page473.wordpress.com/2014-streets/weagyam/)
The central idea of this handout is that “30-somethings have different needs than 20-somethings, and that designing a ministry for single people in the 35 to 50 age range MUST BE DIFFERENT than your average college career ministry.”
How to read the matrix:
The first column has various categories (Social and Free Time, Marriage and Dating, Health, Church, Parents, Home, Jobs and Money) that I think are good ways to understand some of the main concerns of young adults in their 30s and 40s.
The next two columns (20s, 30s) describe how I believe people in two different age decades approach each category in different ways. I purposely did not add a 40s column because I do not have experience in this age range.
Example: So for Social and free time category, I claim that while 20-somethings are generally very hungry for social time with others and making new friends, 30-somethings have less free time and more stable friend groups, and so they are more likely to cultivate existing relationships.
The discussion questions would be: (1) do you agree that 20-something singles are different from 30-something singles? (2) what do you think are the main differences between 20-somethings and 30 somethings (3) How would a ministry for people aged 35+ be different than your average college-career (age 20-35) ministry?