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5 Strategies to Reach the Next Gen at Your Church

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

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willmancini@churchleaders.com'
Will Mancini emerged from the trenches of local church leadership to found Auxano, a first-of-kind consulting ministry that focuses on vision clarity. As a “clarity evangelist,” Will has served as vision architect for hundreds of churches across the country, including such notable pastors as Chuck Swindoll and Max Lucado. Will holds a Th.M. in Pastoral Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary and has authored Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture and Create Movement; he also co-authored Building Leaders with Aubrey Malphurs.