What's in this session?

  • How to reach Millennials
  • 1. Millennials want your church to be real
  • 2. Millennials want to experience community
  • 3. Millennials want to be included
  • Here’s another thought to consider: The largest demographic in your community is the millennial generation, yet, the median age of a senior pastor is 54

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

What’s with millennials? We’re lazy, we’re entitled, and we never go to church. What do we want? Well, in this video, I’m gonna share with you three things millennials want from a church. Well hey there, I’m Brady Shearer from prochurchtools.com, helping you seize the 167 hours beyond your Sunday service. We publish new videos just like this one every single week, so make sure you hit the subscribe button below. And if you like this video, make sure you hit thumbs up, that like button, as well. Here’s a grim statistic from Barna to start things off. Only two in ten Americans under the age of 30 believe that church is important or worthwhile. It’s an all time low. And of course, while this data point isn’t encouraging, it gets worse when you consider that this group, millennials, represent the largest generation in history, the largest group in the workforce, and the largest group eligible to vote. So, what it is that millennials actually want from a church? Well, based on my own experience as a millennial, as well as a handful of great research, here are three key things that millennials do want from their churches. Firstly, you have to consider that millennials have seen more advertisements at their young age than any other generation. From the time that I was a kid, television ads, radio ads, billboards, to the advent of internet advertising, and now social media promotions. Me and my millennial counterparts have been conditioned to be skeptical of anything that’s salesy, over hyped, or promotional in nature. And this is why the first thing that I really want from a church, is for it to be real. Not relevant, mind you, real. And there’s a key distinction here. I don’t need you to put on skinny jeans, get a dope fade and start saying things like lit, fam, or swole. Millennials reacts negatively to anything that looks or feels disingenuous. A Barna study revealed that 66% of millennials found American church goers to be hypocritical. So, stop with the masks and the fake smiles, lead with vulnerability. That’s the first thing millennials want and need from church. Be real and be you. Secondly, when Barna asked millennials to choose from word pairings to describe their vision of the ideal church, 78% chose community over privacy, and 64% chose casual over dignified. I want the church that I’m a part of to offer me something that is so hard to find elsewhere. Community. Speaking personally, I don’t need another great message or rocking worship set. Okay, that’s been commoditized. Spotify gives me access to any song ever made. Podcasts offer me any sermon ever taught. What your church can do, though, is foster a place of true community. And this is the second thing millennials crave from church, because it’s hard to find elsewhere. And the church is uniquely positioned to provide it. Finally, the third thing millennials crave from church, we want a seat at the table. I want to be taken seriously. I want to be included in the decision making, in the leadership. I’m 26 years old. I’ve got a mortgage. I’ve been married for five years. I’m the parent of a toddler. I’m a small business owner. And this stuff is hard. There’s a reason that we the millennials created a word for it. We call it adulting. You get thrust into the real world, into your twenties, and you’ve gotta figure it out as you go with no practice or real preparation. And yet, when I walk into a church, I’m still considered a kid. In every other area of my life I’ve been given responsibility and autonomy, but in church I’m told still, hey, take a back seat. And this is clear when we look at the data. There are more pastors over the age of 65 than under the age of 40. Millennials, we’re the largest voting group, the largest group in the North American workforce, but in church, we’re still the up-and-coming next generation. You want to reach young people? You’ve gotta prioritize young people. More over, consider this, the largest demographic in your city and community is us millennials, and yet the median age of a senior pastor is 54. What does this mean? Well it means that the average senior pastor is 20 to 30 years older than the biggest group that he or she is trying to reach with the message of Jesus. So from a purely pragmatic position, you wanna reach young people? Well, the young people could probably help with that. So, to summarize. The three things millennials want from a church. Firstly, we want church to be real and authentic. Secondly, we want church to be a place where we can find real community. Not just see another show. And thirdly, we want a seat at the table. To be a part of something bigger than ourselves. If you liked this video, make sure you hit the like button below. That thumbs up button, hit that. And definitely subscribe to the Pro Church Tools channel. We publish new videos like this every single week helping your church seize the 167 hours beyond your Sunday service. If you have questions or comments pertaining to this video or anything millennial, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you in another video.

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