Oftentimes when we talk about growth in our churches, we look to the Millennial generation; those individualistic, tech-savvy, and sharp young people. For many years now, we have concentrated our efforts on this generation in hopes of raising them as leaders and sages in the church.
We know that for the church to thrive for years and years to come, we need to reach young generations and reach them well.
The problem here? Millennials are not those typical hipster college kids who are schooled on the latest technology and trends. They are much older now ranging from age 26 to 41! These Millennials are immersed in the workplace and many of them are parents to young families.
While the church should still be in hot pursuit of this quintessential generation, the ways we reach them must be drastically changed from the methods we used 10 years ago. In order to see lasting growth for these Millennials (and their Gen Z/Gen Alpha children), we must reach these families as a whole.
We want to give you 3 simple ways your church can reach young families and see generational growth in your congregation.
While there was a time when Millennials had the freedom to choose a church based on their own individual needs, these young parents are no longer in this same scenario. If they find themselves married and/or leading a family, they have much more to consider than an awesome Sunday worship service & stellar community life.
The question these young people have is “Does this church work for my entire family?” We have found that more and more young families are choosing to go to churches based on their children’s ministry offerings.
If church is meant to be a place where we can grow in faith together this means that there must be a place for everyone, no matter the age they are. This is why there must be a high premium placed on your church’s children’s ministry.
We may not often think of children’s ministry as the most important ministry in our church, but we must reconsider. If our children’s ministry is lacking, we will not only be doing a disservice to these young families, but we risk affecting the future of our churches as a whole. Learning and growing in our faith from infancy is vital if we want to see young generations come to know Jesus and make an impact for the Kingdom!
Make sure you have a solid children’s ministry curriculum as well as a stellar team of leaders who are devoted to teaching children about Jesus. Your young families will thrive because of it, and who knows, you may even attract unchurched parents who want a place for their kids to belong!
We cannot ignore the misuse of power and cases of abuse of children, especially as has been seen in church communities. This reality is a scary thing, especially for those who have young children themselves. Our job as a church is to be a safe place where everyone belongs and people are taken care of. It is essential that we make sure our children are safe and that their parents witness guidelines and programs that ensure this safety.
One simple way is to walk parents through your church’s safety guidelines for children’s and youth ministry. Make them well aware of the requirement of background checks for volunteers, secure check-in/check-out, fire escape plans, and other safety features you employ.
Parents should feel secure that their children are safe from the moment they drop them off to the moment they pick them up after service.
Another way to make parents feel secure is to have open communication between ministry leaders and the parents about what their children are learning at the ministry! It can be a scary thing for young parents to be apart from their children on Sunday, but to make it the best possible experience for them, it is vital to have open lines of communication.
As mentioned, these young families are being led by Millennials and this generation has a distinct native tongue: technology! Their children are probably even more tech-savvy than their parents so your church needs to reach them through digital means.
A great way to reach these families is to provide different online resources such as video lessons, activities, and even sermon or worship clips. Social media can be a great tool to share some of this content as well as email newsletters with the resources included in them.
Another awesome way to speak their language and have open communication is through Facebook groups. These groups can serve to get all the parents of children and youth kids involved in a conversation online. The group can also house some of these online resources and lessons. Facebook groups can be a great connection point for parents to meet and even befriend other parents and families in your church!
If we want to see future generations impact the world for Christ, we must put all of our efforts into reaching them well, and this starts within the family. We truly believe that when God takes hold of the hearts of an entire family, something special happens. It brings unity to the family unit itself and offers so much value to the church community overall.
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