Create a compelling video story of journey, reconciliation, or community. This is the challenge to young adults between ages eighteen and thirty from Living Grace Matters, a crowd-sourced visual project. The idea is simple: give Millennials the opportunity to create and share a one- to three-minute videos to generate intriguing demonstrations of God’s movement in the world, through people and communities. Submitted videos are posted on the Living Grace Matters site, and the winners in each of three categories win $3,000.
In a recent Ministry Matters™ article, “What Millennials Crave and how the Church can Relate,” written by Chris Folmsbee, the director of discipleship at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (Leawood, Kansas), church leaders are told that if they are interested in the spiritual health of Millennials they must “change their way of outreach from an anxious model, based primarily on fear to a more faithful model based on hope.” Folmsbee includes the following info graphic to explain what he means:
The Living Grace project follows this new model of outreach on every level. Although the challenge/contest began only a few weeks ago, more than a dozen beautifully created, soul-touching videos are already posted on the project’s website. You’ll meet a Holocaust survivor who struggles with the memories and talks about forgiveness. You’ll see filthy drinking water in Sudan—footage that the Sudanese government doesn’t want you to see. You’ll hear a man talk about how grateful he is to have a job after years of running the streets and selling drugs as a child.
In his article, Folmsbee says, “Encourage millennials to engage the world not based on what’s wrong with it, but based on what can be right with it. Millennials are just as creative as any other generation we’ve seen, and they have a passionate desire to create things that others love and love to be a part of. For relevancy’s sake, invite their creativity.”
The Living Grace Matters project is a great segue to this invitation. Invite the young adults in your church to become involved. Talk about it in your church’s blog, website, bulletin, any social media presence, or during a youth Bible study. Show the introduction video from the Living Grace Matters website. Look at the FAQs on their site and if you can’t find the answers to your questions, hit them up on Facebook or Twitter—considering the audience, you know they’re well-represented on social media. Do not wait to engage this group after age thirty—they have valuable contributions to make now.
Judy Bumgarner is a freelance writer in Nashville, Tennessee. She also works at Brentwood United Methodist Church in the church’s Caring Ministry.