Some people have written off the current generation spiritually.
That is a mistake – for the church and for the millennials.
There's growing evidence that this new generation will bring the greatest opportunity for small church ministry in 2,000 years.
Why? Because, as the first generation with a majority born and raised outside traditional marriage, genuine relationships and intimate worship – what small churches do best – will matter more to them than it did to their parents.
But this opportunity comes with one, big condition.
Millennials won't give up quality to gain intimacy.
And they shouldn't have to.
Millennials are discovering they have the same needs people have always had. Needs that include a desire to worship something or someone bigger than themselves, and to do so with others who have similar feelings.
In other words, church.
They're Checking Us Out - What Will They Find?
Millenials will not be drawn to the kinds of churches their parents built. They won't want a big Sunday morning stage show as much as they'll want genuine intimacy and relationships.
Because of this need, millennials are starting to take a peek at what small churches have to offer. But they're used to a high-quality experience in everything and they won't settle for less.
Thankfully, that's not as intimidating as it sounds.
Quality = Health
Small church doesn't mean cheap, shoddy, lazy or low-quality. At least it shouldn't.
But what millennials mean by quality is different than what their parents meant.
Too often, for Boomers, quality has meant excess. Glitz. Over-the-top. Bling. What the New Testament calls adornment.
(Interesting, isn't it, that a lot of ministries which properly reject the sin of immodesty have no problem with the flip-side sin of adornment? Some even revel in it as evidence of God's blessing.)
Quality for a small church can be summed up in one word.
It starts by getting the basics right.
- Real-world Bible teaching
- Genuine relationships
- Practical ministry opportunities
- Clean, safe childcare
- And yes, competent musicianship on the worship team
The good news is, your church doesn't have to be big to do any of that. And even if one or two aren't at the level you'd like, most people are okay with it as long as there's high quality in the other areas. They may even step in and help where the church is weak.