Millennials won't build the kinds of churches their parent and grandparents built.
Because Millennials are not a homogeneous demographic group, as we established in my last post, there is no secret key to unlock their heart and grab their attention.
In a world of unlimited choices, Millennials are forcing us to deal with them one-on-one.
If you’re a small church pastor, leader or member, this is good news. One-on-one is what we excel at – or what we can excel at anyway. If you’re in a big church it can be good news, too. We just have to choose to see it that way.
By forcing us out of a group approach to church and into a more individualized way of seeing people, Millennials may be poised to bring about the biggest shift in the way churches do ministry since the Reformation.
Or we can refuse to acknowledge this reality and slip into even further perceived irrelevance. It’s our choice.
The Number One way we can reach Millennials? Lean away from the church-as-business model and into the church-as-relational-community model. Love God and love others.
If you’re looking for ways that your church can be relevant to people in today’s culture, that essential relational component of the church – what Jesus called the Great Commandment – is more relevant than any program, method or musical style you’ll ever adopt.
Here are a few ways churches of any size can reach Millennials by leveraging the power of relationships.
It's More About Relationships than Demographics
It’s important to know the demographics of the community you’re serving. Like a missionary going to a foreign country, it’s an essential part of knowing how to communicate the gospel with them.
But we have to realize that demographics are the starting line, not the goal.
Know Their Names, Not Just Their Needs
The church growth era may have been started with the phrase “find a need and fill it.” That principle will always be a valid approach to ministry.
But after we start meeting people’s needs, we need to know and remember their names.
When our church started doing homeless ministry several years ago, we trained our workers not just to hand people a bowl of food or an article of clothing, but to look them in the eye and engage them in conversation. Those relationships were what touched more people’s lives than any material goods we gave them.