Who knew I would suddenly become an “expert” on Millennials and church?
A recent post of mine – 6 Reasons Millennials Aren’t at Your Church – garnered significant traffic and social media interaction.
I certainly wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I was able to write something that helped others get a better grasp on an important issue.
Here’s the main idea of what I wrote, how we developed it and how the process can help you.
6 reasons Millennials aren’t at your church
If you don’t see any young adults at your church, it’s because you have created, be it intentionally or unintentionally, an environment in which they don’t feel welcome.
Here are the six reasons they may be avoiding your church.
- You aren’t online – 3 out of 4 have created a social media profile. If you want to connect with them, online is part of the way to do it.
- You are too inward focused – The main reasons they don’t give is if they feel it won’t make a difference. If you are only concerned with you, they’ll won’t be involved.
- You aren’t trustworthy – It may be that you are honest, but Millennials will not automatically trust you. Make sure you don’t give them a reason to distrust you.
- You aren’t diverse – Millennials are the most diverse generation in U.S. history. Your church better be diverse or making strides towards it.
- You are too institutional – They are the least likely to claim a political party or a religion. Be driven by causes, not institutional agendas.
- You don’t offer real community – Millennials long for community and will find it somewhere else, if your church doesn’t provide it.
Where the post came from & how it can help you
The post started with an email from my editor suggesting we do some posts at Facts & Trends on reasons why None’s, those who are unaffiliated with any religion, and Millennials may not be at church, according to the latest research.
After reading some of the latest statistics online and compiling information and research from Thom Rainer’s The Millennials and Ed Stetzer’s Lost and Found, I came up with what I thought were a few consistent generalizations about Millennials that were applicable to churches.
Being on the borderline of Generation X and Millennials, I checked with some friends who are solidly in the younger generation, including a co-worker who is starting a blog specifically about what it means to be an evangelical Millennial.
Having gathered both statistical data and anecdotal experience, I felt I had something that could be of benefit to churches and leaders.
I think those two steps can help you when you are looking to communicate to others and learn something yourself.
- Do research – It takes effort to learn. If you really want to give something worthwhile to others be it in a sermon, lesson or a blog post, put in the work to produce something of value.
- Talk to others – If research is valid, it will line up with real life. Anecdotes cannot prove anything to be true, but they can confirm the statistical evidence and provide you with a glimpse at what the data looks like in action.
In this case, the post has certainly resonated with readers, becoming the most viewed post on our site.
Would you add anything else to list of reasons Millennials aren’t at church? Have you had an instance where putting in work and talking with others has helped you produce something of value?