For 13 years we’ve had the privilege of seeing God transform hundreds of students lives in Montana and Portland. It is truly amazing to think about how God allows us to enter into people lives and help them grow and be mobilized for the Kingdom of God.
Sadly, for all the lives we’ve seen transformed there are many who are not. The current statistics of those who grow up in the church and yet during college or shortly after leave the church are astounding.
The Barna Group reports that 59% of the Millennial generation (18-29) who grew up in the church decide to drop out of church after college.
This means there are over 8 million twenty-somethings who were once active church goers who will be disconnected by the time they turn 30 years old. We are also seeing less and less non-believers from this generation that see church as a relevant place in time of need.
In the last few months we have sensed the Lord leading us to a new focus within the ministry of Cru. Our hearts beat for the young people in the city of Portland. We step out our front door and can’t help but notice the thousands of people living lives disconnected from one another and from their Creator. Only 4% of 18-30 year olds in the urban core of Portland know who Jesus is.
This spring we are stepping into a role within Cru that expands our ministry outside the borders of the college campus to help reach the Millennial generation in Portland with the good news of Jesus Christ. In our city the lines between what it means to be a student and a Portlander are increasingly blurry and we believe this generation has incredible potential for the kingdom of God.
We have been tasked with developing a ministry to help engage and empower this generation (18-29) around their faith. We will be working closely with the Cru campus team as well as numerous churches in the area that desire to minister to the millennial generation.
This generation has different questions than any before in part due to technological advances as well as cultural issues. Their world is hostile to faith, increasingly fragmented and marked by turbulence. This new endeavor is call Cru City – Millennials team.
Portland is a perfect place to try this as young grads increasingly call Portland home. We also have great connections to many recent grads in the area as well as significant church relationships in the city.
We are very excited by the opportunity to create and shape something new in the city and to reach a group of people (Millennials) that we love and believe in. Pioneering a new challenge and endeavor fits who we are and we feel honored to get to step into this role.
In some ways our job change will look very familiar. We will continue to reach young people for Christ in Portland, build them up in their faith and send them into the world. In fact we will also lead the summer project here in Portland again this year. In other ways this role allows us to dream about new ways of doing ministry that help get the gospel to more and more people across our city.
Although our role in Cru is changing our ultimate mission is not. Cru remains an organization that is deeply committed to seeing people come into a relationship with God, and to this end we continue to labor here in Portland. You as our ministry partners will not notice anything new as far as donations are processed. You continue to be a vital part of God at work in this city. We’re so thankful for you.
More to come in the upcoming months about our new role. If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks for your partnership in this new endeavor!
Here’s a helpful video that talks about Cru – Cities overall vision.