All churches grow old … but strategic churches are growing young

Churches are both shrinking and aging as more young people disengage. Based on groundbreaking research with over 250 of the nation’s leading congregations, Growing Young provides a strategy any church can use to involve and retain young people. It profiles innovative churches engaging 15- to 29-year-olds that are growing–spiritually, emotionally, missionally, and numerically. Packed with ideas, Growing Young shows ministry leaders how to position their churches to reach younger generations in a way that breathes life into the whole church.
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Top US denominational leaders are Growing Young.

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“Every young person should have access to a church community that will support their spiritual development. Growing Young provides research that charts the effectiveness of the church’s role in the engagement of youth and their families. Church leaders will learn to create and implement strategic steps to strengthen their youth ministry touch. The secret to Growing Young is now out!”

Virginia    Virginia Ward, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

US Church Traditions Represented71%
US States Visited80%
Non-White or Multiethnic Churches Represented51%
US churches with lowering median age6%
Traditions with lowering median age0%


Our book has arrived! Join other exemplary churches as we work to reshape how congregations infuse their ministry with the passion and vibrance of young people.


Our Research

For the past 10 years, we have researched faith transmission through the college transition, parenting in the digital age, church systems, and extended emerging adulthood.

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Our Training

We offer yearly Cohorts, one-on-one consulting, online training, as well as books and films.








Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller’s Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every TeenagerGrowing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three teenage and young adult children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.

Jake Mulder

Jake Mulder is the Senior Director of Strategy at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and Fuller’s Executive Director of Leadership Formation Division. As Senior Director of Strategy at FYI, he oversees business administration, coordinates new research, develops resources and trainings, and helps the team think strategically. Jake holds a BA in Business Administration in Finance from Western Michigan University, an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is currently pursuing a PhD at Fuller. Passionate about helping individuals and organizations achieve their full potential, he is the coauthor of Growing Young. Prior to joining the FYI team, Jake worked in a variety of ministry and professional roles, including as a Financial Analyst, Youth Pastor in the Reformed Church of America, Ministry Director with Youth for Christ, and missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Europe and Asia. Jake and his family live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Brad Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every TeenagerFaith in an Anxious WorldGrowing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.

Fuller Youth Institute

Research into Resources

The Fuller Youth Institute exists to bring hope to churches by translating academic research into practical resources. We serve leaders, youth workers and parents, with the vision of transforming the way the world sees young people.
Our Vision

Unleash the passion of young people in your church.

“Growing Young carries an urgent message. Young people need the body of Christ–and vice versa. This book is theologically informed, research savvy, and pragmatically outstanding. Read it now, before you get any older.”
John Ortberg
John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Church, author of All The Places To Go
“There’s a fine line between catering to young people and understanding the context of our fast-changing culture so that we can engage young people and invite them into discipleship and mission. Growing Young is a gift to the wider church.”
Eugene Cho
Eugene Cho, pastor of Quest Church, author of Overrated

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Is there a connection between Growing Young and Growing With?

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Find out more about Growing With through the resources below.