It’s no secret that millennials and church are not mixing well. According to one study, 59 percent of millennials who were raised in church have stopped going to church. Similar studies have found the same thing.
Young people don’t like church. For me, this was hard to believe. I’ve grown up in church with lots of young people always around me. And to me, it seems like christianity is the “cool” thing to do, but that must just be because I’m in a bubble.
Clearly, the reality is that young people are flocking away from church. This is a scary metric for churches. If churches can’t stop the trend, there will be a decline in churches as the population ages, and fewer and fewer people are interested in attending.
Now, the formula for a successful church is not one that only caters to young people. A local mega church that I attend from time-to-time had a sermon about this subject recently. The pastor that was sharing (who was older) said that he and his early church had to “sacrifice some of what the older members wanted in order to cater to the younger generation.”
If all you’re worrying about is the older people, your church will die. But if you’re only worrying about what young people want, that won’t be a sustainable church either. You’ve got to strike a balance.
I think the above summarizes what younger people want out of church. By “deep teaching” I don’t mean an in-depth study of Leviticus. I mean a moderately-timed sermon with a deep message. We have short attention spans. If you’re preaching for an hour or longer, you’re probably going to lose our interest. I think 35 – 45 minutes of teaching is the sweet spot.
Encourage, equip, and entertain the congregation. You will see your church grow if you’re able to do those things. Make the atmosphere one that is welcoming to the guest. Build your church around guests. That’s how churches grow. If you only cater to those that you already have, don’t expect to grow.
I think the graphic above summarizes what millennials are looking for.