Does your church struggle with reaching the younger generation? Has it given up on them? It seems an ever-increasing number of reports indicate that this generation isn’t interested in our churches, so the idea of giving up has no doubt crossed the minds of some in the church. But wait, not so fast, there’s hope! With God there’s always hope!
I recently attended Church of the Resurrection‘s Leadership Institute in Leawood, Kansas, and had the opportunity to hear Haydn Shaw, who is a leading expert on generations and has written the book entitled, Generational I.Q.: Christianity Isn’t Dying, Millennials Aren’t the Problem, and the Future Is Bright. Shaw said that much of the dire statistics related to the younger generation are overstating and misconstruing what is really happening in our culture. Church participation and the religious beliefs of the younger generation haven’t changed all that much over the years. However, the god they believe in looks less and less like that of orthodox Christianity. And that is a problem.
He said that the best way to reach those of the younger generation is through the Boomers. They have the opportunity to connect well with that generation. Studies show that seven out of ten young people will drop out of church. However, if an adult sends a young adult that they know in their church a text twice a month, there’s a 60% likelihood that they’ll never leave! Wow! So let’s start texting today!
He also said that a study done by researcher Christian Smith (Oxford University Press) indicates that the best way to strengthen the institutional church is babies! Young people having babies makes them more likely to regularly participate in church. So there you go! Text your young people and encourage them to have babies!
P.S. Not for the sake of saving our churches, but rather saving and growing our young people as Christ’s disciples!
— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director for Church Development