I can’t tell you how many conversations I see about reaching the next generation:
- “Our average age is getting older…”
- “Our neighborhood is changing…”
- “Our kids don’t come to church anymore…”
- “Did you see those stats on Millennials…”
In an effort to help churches think through their strategy, I have developed “the five.” Please excuse any notion that I have figured out “the” strategies. Rather, I am trying to provide a watertight approach that logically covers all of the possible directions. It is meant to challenge assumptions, uncover expectations, and reveal best practices. Warning: this post is pretty direct and will be a wake-up call to some leaders.
Before identifying the five strategies, let’s cover one guiding principle:
Generational relevance is always a leadership issue first.
Because the gift of leadership naturally develops leaders in its wake, a lack of presence with the next generation is a lack of leadership in some way. The implications are:
- Leaders beget younger leaders
- Those leaders and churches who reach young people aren’t thinking about it as much as it is happening naturally
- The more conscious you are of the problem of reaching younger people, the more there is a leadership issue to identify
- Younger people are primarily reached by younger leaders
- If you don’t have young leaders, you don’t have old leaders