Why Do Millennials Play An Important Role In The Future Of Our Church?
Millennials. It’s a phrase that you hear coming from a lot of churches across America. However, there is a real disconnect in the older generation understanding exactly who makes up the millennial group.
Before we dig into this article, let’s be clear. Millennials is not a disease, it’s not a foreign object, it’s not something form outer space. Who the millennials group is are the people that fall between the age of 19 and 40;s range. While that seems to be a significant number, this block of people make up the vast majority of our society in today’s times.
So what do the metrics have to say about this group of people? Let’s take a look below for more information on one of the largest blocks of human beings.
- 81% have donated money, goods or services.
- 75% see themselves as authentic and are not willing to compromise their family and personal values.
- On track to become the most educated generation in America.
- 61% of millennials are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference.
- 65% of Millennials say loosing their phone or computer would have a greater impact on their daily routine than loosing their car.
- 39% of Millennials have a tattoo.
- Are more tolerant of races and groups than their peers in older generations, with 45% agreeing with preferential treatment to improve the position of minorities.
Additional Information As Provided by Thom Rainer
- More of them are attracted to smaller venues.
- They view culture as something to influence, rather than an enemy to denounce.
- They like to cooperate with others.
- They abhor Worship Wars
- They love churches who love their communities
- They are attracted to churches that emphasize groups
- They want to be trained on their schedule
- They will question nearly everything
- They are slow to join, and slow to leave
- They want to be involved.
Being an overaged kid-at-heart myself, I actually relate more the the Millennial generation than to Generation X or as some refer to as the Baby Boomer generation. Why? It’s fairly simple. It helps to keep you young at heart and from setting into the mundane standard way of doing things.
Let’s focus on a couple of areas that I have spent many hours in learning more about and focusing my attention towards.
The first is churches that emphasize groups. It is proven throughout a multitude of denominations, that churches who have and operate small groups within their organization tend to deliver a continued feeling of both personal growth and spiritual development. Plus, many small groups are smaller and provide a more nurtured feeling.
Another area of importance is the fact that they like to be trained on their own schedule. In today’s upwardly mobile generation, many people have lives that are jam-packed with activities. Whether it be in their personal lives or in the lives of their children which seem to have schedules which are as busy as most average adults.
However, there is an area where I do disagree with the standard findings of most studies in regards to worship and the “flavors” of them. While it is true that many millennials do not appreciate the “Worship Wars” as indicated in Thom’s research, they do enjoy a more robust and lively presentation that of generations past.
It should come as no surprise that with the increase of various digital item’s available in today’s modern world, that there is a variety of things which appeal to our sensory factors. Such things as impressive imagery, amazing sounds and upbeat tempos that keep us on the move. All of which play into our attraction to a particular item that is trying to be conveyed at that moment.
A Dose Of Reality – Have We Been Pushing Away Future Church Members?
Having sat under the authority of many churches both large and small, the one thing I have always heard is that “we just don’t understand today’s generation.” While I can understand a portion of that comment, what is equally important is the fact that we are not pushing ourselves to learn more about how to connect with the largest body of people in todays society.
While you certainly don’t have to master all the various methods that todays millennials utilize to communicate, it is equally important that you push to gain a better understanding of how it is they communicate.
It should come as no surprise that this group is focused on mobility. This means that they rely heavily upon their smartphone to communicate. In fact, the smartphone in the Millennial group as actually replaced the more traditional desktop or laptop devices.
So the focus of our communication efforts need to be focused around how we can reach this group of people on the devices that nearly each of them can be found with in the palm of their hands.
Today’s generation, or the millennial group can sense when there is a huge disconnect between current church members and their age bracket. This is certainly an area that we as a body most overcome if we are expecting to add new members to our existing congregation.
Most churches have come to realize the importance of having a “tech team.” However, this doesn’t even begin to encompass a team that needs to exist to focus on communicating with a new group of individuals that use a variety of mobile devices to conduct their communications by.
Expanding Our Digital Church – Opening More Doors of Opportunity
Sure we have a variety of digital tools that we can utilize to increase our outreach to a variety of age ranges, but are we truly maximizing them to their fullest potential?
Todays millennials are looking for things to help with their every life. Engaging articles, words of encouragement, a simple text communication showing that someone actually cares! I could go on for a while just in regards to the various methods of communication that we can and should be utilizing in our efforts to increase our digital outreach.
It’s not enough to just have an online presence, or to have a Facebook page, it’s about how we utilize these tools to communicate and stay engaged with those who visit with us online.
3 Seconds To Make A Lasting Impression
You’ve heard me address this before. We have 3 seconds to make an impression once someone engages with us either on our ministry website or Facebook page.
This is the difference of either a person choose to continue to engage us, and more importantly whether or not they choose to visit with us in person.
This is going to be achieved by delivering engaging articles, creative and thought provoking digital artwork and other creative elements. However, it takes more than just a couple of people tending to this. It takes the whole body to dig in and participate.
People choose to interact at various times of the day. They don’t want to be glued to a specific schedule. This is why it is important for us to be actively monitoring all the methods of digital communication that we currently offer.
All Things Digital
As most of you are aware, we have recently change our presentation software. The enhancements and features that this provides to us truly unlocks some doors to further our range of digital communications. However, we are not only going to have to use them, we are going to have to push them and on a more frequent basis. This can be on a try it once or twice and hope it works.
Just like anything related to growing a business, true growth happens with consistency. Even more important is having a core group of dedicated individuals who are willing to help expand our digital outreach.
Our new technology allows people to follow along with our on-screen presentations right from the comfort of their phone or tablet while in our service, or from the comfort of their home.
Soon we will be adding audio and video capabilities to further expand its core capabilities.
We even have interactive visitor cards that are at the very end of our digital presentations.
Millennials Are Our Church’s Future
Every church of every denomination regardless of size are experiencing members who are going to be with Jesus. It’s the ultimate graduation from the here to the eternity.
However, there has to be new bodies that are going to help fill the void of those who have went on to be with Jesus. Exactly who is that going to be?
You guessed it, it is today’s millennials.
Let’s start working together to gain a better understanding of why millennials play an important role in the future of our church. Believe me, this is one group that you will want to put more of your attention on.
The future of all churches rely upon this. Don’t let an opportunity to reach out to the largest block of people pass before you. There is always someone out there looking to appeal to their senses. Will your church be the one who does or will they be visiting with your competing churches of other denominations who have come to understand the importance of this block of human beings.