Community doesn’t mean that everyone has to know everyone (a myth by which many small churches live and die). But it does mean everyone needs to know someone.
The importance of community is something both Orange and Kara Powell believe is critical to reaching the next generation. I agree. Kara’s new book, Growing Young, which comes out this fall (which I’ve had the privilege of pre-reading), highlights this even more.
Relationship is something every church can be great at.
4. Maybe This Is Model Neutral
Every church has a model of ministry. And as we’ve discussed many times, churches that love their model more than their mission will die.
But does that mean you can only have ONE model (approach) to church that works? Well, no, it doesn’t. Because if Millennials truly appreciate the values of leaders and their faith community more than other things, character can be present in a wide variety of approaches to ministry.
Geoff Surratt is doing some fascinating research on church for Millennials, and he’s discovering that many of the churches doing a great job reaching young adults are very diverse in nature. You can listen to my conversation with Geoff about that on Episode 40 of my Leadership Podcast.
I also shared some of the surprises I found in churches that are absolutely crushing it with young adults in this post. Findings like this give hope to us all.
5. Leverage Your Skill Set
All that said, this is in no way an excuse to be bad at what you do. It’s not a license for irrelevance, laziness or a justification for the status quo. This is, after all, a generation that has been marketed to more than any generation in human history. They can smell cheese and incompetence a mile away.
But they can also smell fake a mile away. Being real matters more than doing. But doing still matters. So continue to do the best you can with what you have. Make the changes you feel called to make, regardless of your church size, budget, setting or denomination.