When it comes to engaging Millennials, churches face the same challenges as associations and other organizations. This is magnified by the fact that, according to a study conducted by Pew Research, 35% of Millennials are unaffiliated with any particular faith. This compares with 13% for the same age group in the 1970s and 20% in the 1990s. In short, many Millennials are unfamiliar with traditional hymns and styles of worship.
For this reason, many churches are taking steps to make worship services, small groups and conferences more accessible and user-friendly for young adults.
Some of the approaches that churches have used effectively are worth noting by professional associations that are finding it challenging to attract Millennial members and conferences that need to boost attendance by the GenX and GenY crowds.
Engagement Through Technology
The Assemblies of God World Missions Summit attracts 5,000 Millennials from colleges around the country. Video live music, dance, and upbeat messages presented on giant screens produce an engaging and inspiring program.
Contemporary Urban Arts
Think hip hop, rap, and church don't go together? Think again.
For the past 13 years, Christian recording artist, Eddie James has lead Dream Life, a CSR-initiative based in Loganville, Georgia. Dream Life has outreach in malls, on the streets, and in low income areas. Its residential recovery program in partnership with Addiction Recovery Care ministers to youth and young adults with substance abuse problems.
Some of the Millennial whose lives have been transformed are involved in the ministry, which includes the Shift Conference series that tours the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Shift Conferences, as well as the worship services, workshops and religious meetings conducted by Eddie James Ministries, feature music, drama, and art that appeals to a young demographic. Young people share their experiences, play in the band, act, sing, rap, and perform hip hop dance routines. Take a peek.
Late last year, Olive Branch Community Church in Markham, Ontario (where I attend) re-vamped and re-branded its ministry to Millennials and dubbed it RKLS MVMT (for reckless movement).
There is a RKLS MVMT website and a distinctive logo. For promotion there is active use of the RKLS MVMT YouTube channel. For example, this was the announcement by the young adult pastor, Josh McCabe, about the official launch of RKLS MVNT.
RKLS MVMT is actively promoted on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using the hashtag #RKLS. In fact, Josh even has his own band called CAVES and his own Twitter and Instagram accounts @joshmccabe & joshisrkls.
Religious meetings through RKLS MVMT include weekly worship services with contemporary music, small groups, Bible studies, and a monthly Sunday evening gathering featuring well-known Christian music artists and bands. So far, guests have included John Neufeld, the band I AM THEY and Christian heavy metal drummer Aaron Gillespie.
Growing up as a Boomer, Church never looked like this!
For more tips read Religious Meetings: 15 Tips for Leading Small Groups, 8 Out of the Box Event Venues for Church Meetings, Religious Conferences: Taking Part in the Social Stream, Using Mobile Event Apps for Community Churches, 5 Ways to Engage Millennials in Meetings, and Music for Corporate Events: Appealing to Diverse Tastes.