5 Things Millennials Are Looking for in a Church

millennials and church

One of the questions almost every church leader I know is asking is “How do we reach Millennials?”—that demographic of young adults now in their mid-20s to age 40.

It’s a great question.

They’re hardly kids anymore. They’re today’s adults. And many churches have missed them altogether.

One of the primary missions of every generation of church leaders is to hand the faith and the church over to the next generation. Practically speaking, churches that fail to reach young adults will struggle far more a decade from now than churches that don’t.

Often the conversation goes quickly to what you need to do in the church to reach the next generation.

But is that actually the right question to ask?

The penny dropped for me recently in (yet another) conversation I had with young adults about the church and the future.

Maybe Millennials are asking a very different question.

And the question they’re asking is good news for almost every church leader, because it’s not only about what you do, how many resources you have or even your model of ministry. It’s bigger than that.

In fact, Millennials might be looking for something bigger than all of that. The good news? It’s something almost every church leader can offer regardless of church size, budget or staffing.

The Dinner Party Where No One Agreed…Until

I had a free ranging dinner conversation a while back with eight young adult church leaders (ranging in age from the mid-20s to early 30s) and I simply asked them, “If you could design a church for your generation, what would it look like?”

The conversation actually turned out quite similar to a number of conversations I’ve had with young church leadersNo one actually agreed with each other. 

One young leader thought messages should be 20 minutes long. Others thought messages should be ‘deep’ and biblical and length wasn’t that important.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.

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