Home Children's Ministry Leaders Articles for Children's Ministry Leaders Why Millennial Parents Are Exiting the Church

Why Millennial Parents Are Exiting the Church

We’re not getting outside the four walls. If we want Millennial parents to come inside the four walls, then we must first give them opportunities to get outside the walls. Occasionally taking up an offering for kids in a needy country is not enough. They want to go visit the child and help him/her in person.

Practical steps to take:

  • Get small groups involved in serving together outside the four walls.
  • Help supplement and sponsor young Millennials to go on mission trips.
  • Share stories of young adults who went on a mission trip and the fruit that’s resulted from it.

Church politics. If you look behind the curtain, you will see most churches have politics going on. Power struggles over decisions. Arguing over petty things like the color of the carpet. Starting “new churches” due to church splits. A few families, that have been at the church for generations, controlling the church and turning it into a country club where only people like them are accepted.

Millennials can see right through the curtain. They see the politics, power struggles and lack of unity, and they want no part of it.

Practical steps to take:

  • Create a culture of unity that is based on the church’s vision.
  • The less red tape, the better. Realize you don’t need a committee for getting permission to buy some more toilet paper for the bathrooms. Empower the staff team to be able to make decisions while balancing it with accountability.
  • Make decisions not based on the preference of the few, but on what’s best for the future of the church.

Show them the money. Millennials want to know where the money they are giving is going. They don’t trust institutions in general and that includes churches. They are turned off when they hear about a pastor building a multi-million dollar house or driving a Rolls Royce, while kids in other countries are dying of starvation. They are also not big on building grand facilities that are used for an hour a week on Sunday morning.

Practical steps to take:

  • Be totally transparent about where funds are being spent.
  • Show how the money is being used to help others with a special emphasis on helping the poor and needy.
  • Church staff salaries should be in line with what the average family in the congregation makes. In other words, they should live comfortably, but not exorbitantly.

Move from the yelling head to a conversation. Millennials are not interested in having someone stand behind a pulpit and yell at them. They can sit home and watch the best preachers on the planet on demand. Instead, they long for stimulating conversation in a community of people who are facing the same challenges and struggles.

Practical steps to take:

  • Move from rows of chairs to round tables as much as possible. This naturally causes more conversations to happen.
  • Make sure classes for both parents and children incorporate open-ended questions that can spark deeper conversations.
  • Equip small group leaders to be excellent facilitators rather than lecturers.

Lack of community. Millennials long to be in community and they want their children to be in community as well.

Practical steps to take:

  • Create small groups that address the felt needs of Millennials.
  • Have small groups for their children. Whether it’s a traditional classroom setting or a small group time after large group time, get their kids in a group where they can be known, cared for and prayed for by a caring small group leader.

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Dale Hudson has been serving in children's ministry for over 30 years. He is an author, speaker and ministry leader.  He is the founder and director of Building Children's Ministry. BCM helps churches build strong leaders, teams and children's ministries.  (www.buildingchildrensministry.com)