The Adulting School

Rachel Weinstein and Katie Brunelle are co-founders of The Adulting School, an online training center designed to offer “support to those who are looking to gain the skills they need to be a successful adult.” The Adulting School launches in April and will offer courses in finance, job skills, relationships, health and wellness, and other topics relevant to adult life.

Enrollment in The Adulting School requires a fee, with tuition set at $19.99 a month.

“Adulting” is a recent coinage. In June 2016, Time Magazine defined adulting as behaving “in an adult manner” or making someone “behave like an adult.”

I first heard the term about two years ago while in ministry with college students. My students lamented the moment “adulting” would be required of them: finding and securing a job, paying their own bills, and making their own way. Part of my responsibility as their pastor was to help them make that transition well and to connect them with resources that would benefit them as they entered a new stage of life.

Age-specific ministry models may have hurt the church in this regard as well by segregating older adults from teenagers and children, and vice-versa.

In Titus 2:1-8, Paul exhorts his colleague in ministry to teach sound doctrine. He instructs Titus to speak specifically to sub-groups within the congregation. Older men are “to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and endurance.”  Older women are told to “teach what is good” while also encouraging the young women to pursue holiness while caring for their families. Younger men are to be taught self-control, but Titus is to “set them an example by doing what is good.”

The church has a long history of establishing intergenerational ties that allow older adults to pass along wisdom to younger adults. However, increased mobility, the lack of intact family systems, and fewer shared spaces for conversing with those of different generations have weakened those ties. Age-specific ministry models may have hurt the church in this regard as well by segregating older adults from teenagers and children, and vice-versa.

Business ventures like The Adulting School are attempting to bridge that gap. But churches have the opportunity to launch similar ventures, without tuition and with the additional advantage of the existing social ties that are established by being part of the same worshipping community. Through fellowship, these ties can be strengthened.

Talk to the young adults in your congregation. Ask them what they need help with. Then, connect them with older adults in the congregation who possess spiritual maturity and wisdom about life as an adult.

Creating space for conversation between those of older generations with millennials and members of generation Z may not only benefit those entering adulthood, but may also impart new vision to older adults for connecting with and serving those in emerging generations.

I currently teach a young adult Sunday school class that includes those entering the workforce after high school and those seeking their next step post-college. I have observed firsthand the need for wisdom as well as the openness young adults have in receiving counsel from respected mentors and guides.

“Adulting” can be challenging. To help younger generations navigate adulthood successfully is an act of neighborly love. It is the way of Christ.