Friday, August 04, 2017

Reaching and Engaging Millenials

I have gathered together eight articles, a study report, and a podcast on reaching and engaging Millenials. A couple of the articles and the podcast were previously posted on Anglicans Ablaze.

10 Reasons Churches Are Not Reaching Millennials

Many people are pessimistic about Millennials, but I believe the next generation is poised to transform the culture (and the world) for the good. For many churches and leaders, however, Millennials are (to borrow from Winston Churchill) “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

I would agree with Churchill’s statement on some levels, but the riddle can be solved. Once you find out what makes Millennials tick, they are not that puzzling. They simply have a unique set of passions, interests, and viewpoints on the culture and the world.

But the church has largely failed to take stock in this generation because they are different. This is a problem. A lack of knowledge breeds fear, and this is true of the church in relation to Millennials. Many churches do not take the time to know the next generation, so they are stuck with attaching stigmas (many untrue) to them.

There are churches, however, that are thriving with Millennials, and if you did some investigation I believe you would find similar results, regardless of the church locale.

So, what differentiates a church culture that attracts Millennials from one that repels them? There are many factors, but I want to highlight ten really important ones. If your church wonders why reaching the next generation is difficult, the following points might shed some light on your struggle. Read More

6 Ways Churches Can Reach Millennials

By definition, I am a millennial. I was born in the 80’s, I can remember a world without cell phones, but I also wrote my first research paper on an early version of Microsoft Word. Over the last decade, I've heard more and more talk about how the Church needs to reach MY generation.

But I'm also a millennial with almost a decade of ministry experience under my belt. I've served as an intern, Youth Pastor, and Associate Pastor. With a foot in both worlds, I’ve prepared what I believe to be six of the best ways the church can engage and reach millennials today. Read More

5 Characteristics Millennials Are Looking For In Church

There has been much chatter recently about why Millennials are leaving the church. Several theories have been presented from leaders across the country. One of the most fundamental flaws of writing blog post about a topic like that is that there cannot be a single answer. The group of people who are referred to as Millennials is too big to be characterized as a cohesive unit, and they didn’t all decide to leave the church for the same reason.

Full disclosure…I’m not a millennial. I belong to that fun group known as GenX by a whopping 14 days. Had I been born 2 weeks later, I would be a Millennial, but as it is, I’m lumped in with a completely different group, who I’m sure left the church for an even different reason than the Millennials about which I’m writing.

Rather than exploring why they leave, let’s look into why they stay or join in. Here are five characteristics Millennials are looking for in a church home.... Read More

Simple Ways Your Church Can Keep and Reach Millennials

It seems that everywhere we look in the pop Christian blogosphere, someone is talking about Millennials. The conversation is usually focused on what these Millennials want and how the local church can reach them.

For example, in a September article on their website, Barna Research Group offered new survey findings to produce "5 Ways to Connect with Millennials.” As a pastor of a church that reaches over 1,000 Millennials each Sunday, I personally believe the vast conversation focused on Millennials is a little overblown. It has become more of a content-generating selling point than actually helping us come any closer to reaching Millennials. Read More

How to Effectively Reach and Retain Millennials

Three ways churches can find and keep young adults

In my book Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and Churches that Reach Them, we focused on the generation often called "Millennials" today. The first part of the book dealt with the views of the unchurched. However, we didn't just want to write a book about what was wrong. So, the last part of the book dealt with churches that were successfully reaching young adults....

We identified characteristics of churches that were engaging young adults by reaching and keeping them as part of the church. Here are three significant ways in which churches can effectively reach and retain Millennials. Read More

5 Things Millennials Wish the Church Would Be

New Barna research reveals the questions church planters should ask to authentically and effectively engage young adults.

Millennials (today’s 18- to 30-year-olds) are leaving the Church in record numbers … and they’re not returning. Of course, this is far from new information. In the past decade, Christian research experts like Barna Group, LifeWay Research, and Rainer Research have widely reported on this reality.

But a new study—Making Space for Millennials, a joint project of Barna and the Cornerstone Knowledge Network—uncovers key findings that help reveal unique characteristics about the Millennial generation, plus practical ways churches can connect with and engage today’s young adults. Below, we offer five questions to ask yourself and your team as you pray and plan to reach this unique group.... Read More

7 Ways to Draw Millenials to Your Church

In “6 Reasons Millennials Aren’t at Your Church,” we looked at the statistical data behind why an individual church may not be effective in reaching young adults.

LifeWay Research found 70 percent of young adults who indicated they attended church regularly for at least one year in high school do drop out of regular church attendance.

That does not mean, however, they have left never to return. In fact, according to LifeWay Research, almost two-thirds return and currently attend church (within the time frame of the study).

That same study found most don’t make a conscious decision to leave due to a doctrinal dispute or significant disagreement. They simply drift away because the church doesn’t seem as important to their lives as it once did. Many have looked at a church and decided it is no longer relevant.

So how can churches change that? What can you do to draw millennials to your church and have them plant roots in your congregation? Read More

How Does the Church Reach Millennials? Hint: It’s Not Flashing Lights or Rock Band Worship

Do Millennials want to be impressed with an out-of-this-world church experience? Yes — but not in the way that you might think.

Don’t lie to a Millennial. They will smell it a mile away.

At least that’s what the latest research from Barna and the Cornerstone Knowledge Network shows in a detailed report called “Making Space for Millennials.” The study explored key characteristics of people from 18-30 years old and discussed how churches can make room for their ideas and influence.

Millennials are leaving the church in large numbers: 70 percent of those raised in the church leave by the time they are in their 20s; one-third of those under 30 in the United States claim to have “no religion.” As more and more Millennials leave the church, ministry leaders are asking “why?” and “what can we do about it?”

Here’s what Millennials really want in a church. Read More

Making Space for Millenials

Many faith communities and Christian organizations are struggling with how to make space for the Millennial generation—those born between 1984 and 2002.

The 112-page Making Space for Millennials full report, produced in partnership with Barna Group and Cornerstone Knowledge Network, is an indispensable tool for designing with Millennials in mind. It outlines Millennials as a generation and the impact their shared values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church or organization as you make space for their ideas and influence. It recounts Millennials’ perspectives on worship and community spaces and shares practitioners’ views on the impact of culture, ministry, leadership and facilities on design. Read More
See also the related articles and resources on Millenials on this webpage.
Six Keys for Reaching Millenials in Established Churches - Rainer on Leadership #101 [Podcast]

We get questions from listeners every day for advice and with suggested podcast topics. Recently, a question about Millennials stood out so we used it to jump into our discussion in this episode about reaching Millennials. Doug asked:
What is being done or what should be done to broaden the scope of age to bring younger leaders to the table and therefore inspire them to invest more, be devoted and committed to promoting initiatives that we say we believe will change the world for Christ? Listen Now

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