Millennials are leaving the church in droves. You have most likely noticed this happening in your own place of worship. According to a Barna Group study, this isn’t an isolated situation:
59% of Millennials who grow up in Christian churches end up leaving the church
In the last decade, the segment of Millennials who don’t attend church has grown from 44% to 52%.
Millennials make up the largest group of unchurched people in the U.S.
When a large portion of previously churched people make the choice to stop attending, it can’t and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The ongoing health of the church depends on younger generations stepping into leadership roles and regularly attending services as they age.
In other words, the baton of ministry is passed down from generation to generation. This can’t happen if younger generations of adults aren’t attending church at all. If you work in a church with a diminishing Millennial population, you have to make an attempt to get them back. Here are a few tips for bringing them back into the fold.
Unlike the generations before them, millennials have been bombarded with advertisements their entire lives. Social media has also become a huge part of their existence. This means they can see through the cloak and dagger, smoke in mirrors efforts some churches try. They yearn for authenticity, so don’t patronize this group of people.
Be real. Let them be real. That’s what they want. They don’t want to be “entertained” or “sold to.” David Kinnaman, President of the Barna Group, says that Millennials “are not disillusioned with tradition; they are frustrated with slick or shallow expressions of religion.” They want to see real, authentic Christianity displayed.
Give Back to Your Community
Although they have a bad reputation for being spoiled and entitled, Millennials are anything but selfish. They actually are extremely generous with their time and resources when it comes to helping others. They want to be part of a congregation that gives back to its community.
Make sure you have plenty of actionable ways your church is helping the less fortunate. When Millennials are given the opportunity to serve the disadvantaged, they will gladly participate. And once they start getting involved in your outreach activities, they will begin showing up to church more often, too.
Meet Their Technology Needs
Younger generations rely on technology in their daily lives for everything from working, to shopping, to banking. To make Millennials feel included as members of your congregation, look for ways to incorporate their favorite piece of technology—their phones—into your service.
One great way to do this is by modernizing your church giving method. Since Millennials rarely carry cash, and don’t understand the concept of writing a check, why not allow them to give in a way that makes sense to them? With a church giving app, you can empower them to give using their phones. They will be excited to see that you’re taking steps to make them feel comfortable. And you will likely see your church giving increase, too.
Ask for Their Input
Above everything else, Millennials want to know they are loved and that their presence is desired in church. Make sure your members in this age group know they are welcome and appreciated. Ask them what you could do to make attending easier for them and implement the above tips to make your church more appealing to this unique generation.
Once Millennials start to feel at home in your church, they will make it a point to attend services regularly—not only because it’s fun, but because they feel like they belong.