A “domain” is the word we used for an arena of meaning and purpose where young adults tended to form significant communities, and developed practices that helped them meet existential, social, creative, and physical needs (i.e., practices of becoming, healing, sharing,
or nourishing). Sometimes young adults approached these domains with a kind of reverence that looked a lot like prayer or worship. Young adult domains included arenas like:

  • food, farming, and sustainability
  • social justice and political movements
  • craft and maker movements
  • adventure and experimentation
  • health, fitness, and well-being
  • art, design, and music
  • embodiment, physicality, and sport
  • storytelling and media
  • technology and hacking
  • locality and the sharing economy
  • gaming and world-building
  • …and many others

Our hunch was that young adults are already deeply engaged in a lot of sacred activity in these domains of meaning and purpose—sometimes they even recognize that it’s sacred. They sometimes did, and sometimes did not, connect that activity to God, but they did recognize that they were on holy ground somehow when they were engaged in these activities.

We wondered: what would happen if churches began to listen to what young adults could teach us about the sacred in these domains?

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The Zoe Project was funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc, and is headquartered at Princeton Theological Seminary.