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Church for Millennials – 5 Things They Need

When I drilled down, no one could really agree on what deep or biblical meant. Some thought worship should be longer while others thought this could be an impediment to inviting their friends. When it came to community groups or outreach, there were mixed opinions on what to do. After 45 minutes, no real consensus emerged.

This is quite typical among the many conversations I’ve had with churched and unchurched Millennials.

I’d preached at their church earlier that day and so I asked them for some honest no-holds-barred feedback. They told me the message really resonated, so I pushed deeper (come on, you can tell me the truth) and asked them why. My message was more like 40 minutes after all (not 20), and I’m old enough to be the dad of some of the people around the table. I was really anxious for their feedback.

“Well,” someone ventured, “you were authentic. You told stories. There was nothing fake about what you said.”

“And I did reference Greek once,” I replied. We all laughed because clearly this meant my teaching was ‘deep.’

Then they started talking about what they valued. Things like integrity, transparency, honesty, grace and truth.

And this is when (finally), they all agreed.

That’s also when things really came together in my mind, and resonated with what we’re learning from Millennials where I serve at Connexus, and what I’ve seen elsewhere: When it comes to church for Millennials, maybe the question we need to ask isn’t ‘what do we need to do?’ as much as ‘who do we need to be?’

Bottom line? Millennials are asking church leaders who they are, far more than they’re asking what they’ll do. So what are the implications regarding church for Millennials for all of us who lead churches?

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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.