Reaching the Millennial Generation
by Joel Southerland
Recently Time Magazine ran an article on “The Generation Gap” in which it contrasted the Millennials, Baby Boomers, The Silent Generation, and Generation X. While each need to be reached it seems that the church is doing the worst job of reaching the Millennials.
According to Thom Ranier,
Though we cannot know with certainty the spiritual condition and eternal destiny of persons, we can have an idea through a series of questions we asked each of them in our research. Our best estimate is that only 15% of this generation is Christian. Among nearly 80 million Millennials, only 12 million have personal relationships with Christ.
That means 85% are lost. That means 68 million young people are lost.
Back to the Time article. Here is the quote that caught my attention: “I have an iPhone, and I would die without it,” says FAU freshman Lizzie Barnes.
Anyone who has children in the Millennial generation knows that the above quote is not out of the ordinary. The Millennials rely on technology to foster their relationships. Knowing that is true, the church cannot ignore that fact. We cannot sit back and allow the Millennial generation to go unreached while we ignore the technology that could reach them.
If you want to reach the Millennials here are 4 simple things your church MUST have in it’s outreach arsenal:
Homemade webpages are out. What your webpage looks like matters to the Millennials. If it is out of date, poorly navigated, aesthetically unpleasing, or clumsily put together they will move on without giving you a chance. Make sure your webpage is clean, neat, up-to-date, and easy to navigate. You will probably need to get help with this project – unless you have a web page designer in your church. It is worth spending money to make sure you get a great site. Remember, more people use search engines than yellow pages now, so your web page is incredibly important.
2. Facebook Page
Consider these Facebook statistics:
People on Facebook
- More than 800 million active users
- More than 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
- Average user has 130 friends
Activity on Facebook
- More than 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
- Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
- On average, more than 250 million photos are uploaded per day
You just can’t ignore that! Your church needs a Facebook page that is interacting with its community (believers and unbelievers) and sharing content about the church and ministry.
3. Twitter Feed
A few years ago a Twitter feed would have been a luxury not a necessity – boy have the times changed!
For example, Ford is relying heavily on Twitter to reach the Millennials. Why? Consider this:
But when it comes to Twitter,Millennials are over-indexing.Twitter’s director of sales marketing, Shane Steele, citing third-party research, said 55% of the Twitter audience is made up of Millennials,compared to 40% of the rest of the internet.
At the minimum your church and Pastor should have a Twitter feed that your community and congregation can interact with.
4. YouTube Channel
Video is king. 150 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook (up 2.5x year/year) and every minute more than 500 tweets contain YouTube links.
Put your church on YouTube. Upload commercials, announcements, testimonies, etc.
Those are just the beginning things your church should be doing. There are so many others, including mobile technologies, that would help you reach the Millennials.
I write a blog that deals with this very subject and try to provide regular help. You can check it out at Joelsoutherland.com