Yes…Your Church CAN Reach Millennials

The reason why many churches aren’t reaching Millennials is because they don’t understand them and don’t have the ability to relate to them.  Churches who want to reach Millennials must change that.  They must be intentional in relating to them and understanding them.

Here are a few of the key things Millennials are starting to bring to the table.

Secularization – religious values disappear and are replaced with government ideas.  People begin to be influenced by religion less and less.

Gender revolution – the categories of  “male” and “female” are deemed insufficient or invalid.  Genders become fluid or even optional.

Pluralization – the idea of truth is not absolute.  There are many options.  To say Jesus is the only way to eternal life, is to be intolerant.

Millennials are leaving our churches.  For the most part, they have very little connection to the traditional church.  The number of Americans ages 18-29 who have no religious affiliation has nearly quadrupled in the last 30 years.”  39% of Millennials are religiously unaffiliated.  This is 3 times the unaffiliated rate among seniors (ages 65 and older).

Many are Biblically illiterate, having grown up in an increasingly anti-Christian worldview.

Many Millennials have become disillusioned with the church.  They have watched as their church attending parents lived one way at church and a different way during the week.  This has caused them to ask if Christianity really works in our day-by-day lives. They see their parents and grandparents being solid at church while at the same time being dysfunctional at home. In many cases, they have lost respect for the church because our walk doesn’t match our talk.

Rapid change.  The average Millennial will have 17 jobs across 5 careers in their lifetime.  They are used to rapid change in every area of their lives.  And this includes the church as well.  Millennials will switch places of worship often.

Social Media.  Millennials see social media as a conduit to communicate and connect.  It is the language through which they speak.  They see no difference between online and offline communication.  We must find ways to bring offline community to their online world.

Leadership.  Millennials don’t follow positions or titles, they follow people they love and respect.   They follow relationship not rules.  The old saying is very true with Millennials – People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

We must listen to Millennials.  Give them opportunities to lead and be heard.  Respect their differences of opinion.  Be willing to collaborate with them.  I recently read this noteworthy statement.

“For Millennials, leadership is about relating, listening, collaborating and empowering, not about commanding or demanding.”

Check their schedule and be flexible.  They are very, very busy.  They want to know that the things they are investing their time into are relevant and can make a difference. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Is this the best time of the week to reach Millennials?
  • What programs are no longer fruitful and need to be stopped?
  • What programs or events can we consolidate and streamline?

As you do this, it will enable you to put more focus, strategy and quality in what you do.

Church services.  Many Millennials believe you can worship without attending church.  Add online services to the mix and you’ll find that for many Millennials, online church has replaced physically attending a church in person.

Purpose of facilities.  You will find that many churches are remodeling and adding areas like bigger foyers, coffee spaces and other gathering points.

Coffee should be your friend.  Coffee is about more than a beverage.  It’s communicates to Millennials that your church has a heart for hospitality and care.

Millennials lack understanding of God’s Word.  But the good news is this – they want to learn more about God’s Word.  They want to explore the Bible at a deeper level rather than just breezing through the pages.

Giving.  While Boomers tithe without question, Millennials are the least likely generation to tithe.  And before they give, they want to know what the money is going to and how it will impact people’s life.

If our churches are going to be strong in the future, then we must be willing to change and adjust so we can reach Millennials.  When this happens, we will see them make a huge impact on their generation and future generations.

This article originally appeared here.