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The National Foursquare Youth Ministry is revamping its identity with a new name and a new focus. The youth department will now be known as National NextGen Ministries.

“Our heart is to build community, build leaders and release the next generation,” said National Youth Director James Craft. “Changing our name broadens our focus, reflecting our commitment to reach young people of all ages—not just high school students.”

The reality is that 81% of teens attend church at some point during their teen years—meaning the church has a tremendous opportunity for impact. But that opportunity is being lost: 61% of young adults that attended church at some point during their teens are now disengaged from faith, according to research from The Barna Group. They don’t attend church, don’t read the Bible and don’t pray. Focusing only on the classic age range of ‘youth’ as high school and junior high students is no longer working.

Adolescence Lasts Longer
That difficult life transition known as adolescence has transformed from a few years during a person’s teen years to a broad age range, stretching from 11 to 29. Younger kids are growing up much faster today—with tweens rushing to leave behind their childish ways and become teenagers. But they’re simply entering adolescence earlier and have hardly become mature, responsible adults (just ask a junior high youth worker).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, adolescence is lasting much longer as young people don’t take on the full responsibility of adulthood until after college or even in to their late 20s. For a variety of reasons young adults are not becoming fully independent, and many are delaying some of the classic transitions of adulthood, including marriage and parenthood.

The result is an entire ‘next generation’ of young people from 11-29 who are going through a difficult transitory period. While marketers and the media continue to segment this audience, The Foursquare Church will reach out to them as one diverse group, united in their struggle to find their place in the world.

The name National NextGen Ministries and the new strategy is a deliberate attempt to minister to young people holistically and help them transition from one stage of life to the next, until they step into full adulthood with their faith intact.

Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07
As we unite young people in transition across ages, we will also unite them across the country with the first Foursquare national youth event in over 10 years. National NextGen Ministries announces the Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07.

With a new name comes a new event. The Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07 is about more than speakers and bands—it’s an event that mobilizes youth toward the goals of providing aid for orphans, stopping human trafficking and fighting poverty. Imagine 8,000 students gathering at the end of 2007 to open their hearts, chase their dreams and change the world. It’s a New Year’s Eve party with a cause.

The Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07 will be held Dec. 29-31, 2007 at the Anaheim Convention Center in sunny Southern California. You can learn more about the event online and leaders can request a free promo kit that includes a DVD, T-shirt, promotional materials and more.

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