It’s an argument that has been flowing through evangelical churches since about the early 90’s and has only grown stronger in recent years. It’s a discussion that, focuses solely on one faction of the church body. And that underlying question is, “How do we get the young people in here?” Now, this is a fair question. The local church cannot survive on dead members in the future (forgive the morbid choice of words here). A local congregation must have a diverse group of people generation-wise if they plan on surviving in the community. There is just one problem. Unfortunately, it is rare that this very question actually involves “the young people.” Nowadays, “the young people” are the millienials.
I’ve seen it in church after church. If I may be frank, it is always the older generation that asks the question. And they ask it among themselves and provide possible solutions among themselves. Therein lies one of the problems. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to ask a millenial what draws them to a congregation of believers? That just sounds like common sense to me. And, as a millenial, I am going to save you some time, and tell you what draws people my age to a body of believers in our communities. Before you read it though, please understand that this is not coming from a place of anger, bitterness, or annoyance. This stems from a young milennial who desires to see the church thrive in the years to come for the sake of the Gospel.
What Doesn’t Draw Us
- Music – This is the most common answer and that’s because it’s the easy answer. Ladies and gentlemen, millenials don’t care what the style of music is (read that twice for emphasis). We really, really don’t. We care more about why and how the congregation sings it rather than the style, singers, and instruments.
- Church Attire – We will dress how we feel best suits our individual worship experience and not on what we are told to wear or not wear. Don’t tell your congregations to dress a certain way because it makes millenials feel comfortable. That makes us sound like pets.
- Programs – Evangelical churches have programs from birth to death these days. Ministries and programs are in two different categories. Go for the former.
- High-Tech Things – Screens, stage lights, and fog machines are just that…things. I guarantee you that it doesn’t make a millenial want to attend a certain church. There is no problem utilizing them in your worship services (except the fog machines), but don’t assume that if you throw a screen on the wall that millenials will bust down your sanctuary doors.
- Scripts – Although millenials are the least educated generation as far as content, we can detect a memorized script when we hear it. The same 4 sentences at four different churches tell us that what is done there is monotonous and possibly not genuine. And speaking of that…
- Routine – If something is routine, it is almost always meaningless. One thing millenials hate is things done “just because.” Have purpose behind what you do.
What Draws Us
The Gospel. Plain and simple.