The Church is only ever one generation from extinction. It is strategically necessary to stop what we are doing and “get younger.” The question is, “How?” If you are trying to reach millennials you might be making these 3 mistakes:
- Doing ministry “to” millennials instead of “with” millennials. Our missionaries are wildly successful for two reasons: 1) the Spirit makes the difference and 2) the indigenous church principle. Simply put: get millennials filled with the Holy Spirit, then put them to work reaching their world for Jesus. Start by giving millennials Holy Spirit power. Then organizationally empower your millennials to lead and make mistakes.
TIP: Create unpaid staff positions, other than Youth Pastor or Children’s Pastor, and recruit only millennial candidates.
- Reaching millennials with an assumption based model. We tend to make assumptions about what it takes to be effective, and create a method based on our assumptions. Don’t invest in a model that assumes effectiveness. We CAN assume that the presence of Jesus is universally attractive. So ask a millennial, “What is distracting you from meeting with Jesus here?” “What do we do that keeps you from bringing someone here to meet with Jesus?” If we aren’t willing to hear some hard truths from millennials about our methods, then we will not lead millennials to Jesus.
TIP: Add millennials to the leadership team. Let them influence your methods and then measure the results.
- Producing spiritual orphans. There are two ways to produce spiritual orphans. First, if you aren’t spending time with millennials, then you are creating spiritual orphans. If there is one key to this generation it is that they are looking for spiritual fathers. That requires time together. Millennials need to be personally challenged with a God-sized mission and released into it. Second, if our worship experience isn’t leading people to become aware of the already present Father, they will walk away spiritually orphaned.
TIP: Invite millennials to lunch, staff meetings, prayer, Bible study, and apprenticeship.
With a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, Will Hampton is leading a movement at Two Rivers Assembly to see the world transformed by leading people to Jesus. In just over two years, more than 400 people have been led into a transforming relationship with Jesus.