Will Your Church Reach Millennials? 3 Surefire Ways to Not Do So – by Jonathan Pearson

The millennial generation is the most unchurched and non-christian generation in our country’s history. As a millennial myself, this disappoints me because I know that we have the potential to do something great for the kingdom of God. We love to rally around causes we believe in. What better cause than the Gospel?Will Your Church Reach Millennials? 3 Surefire Ways to Not Do So - by Jonathan Pearson

To turn it around, churches must begin focusing on providing genuine and transformative worship experiences and programs. Many have shifted the way they do things, but some have not. Some seem to be stuck and unwilling to move on minor issues that could make a big difference.

Here are 3 churches that won’t reach millennials unless they decide to change and challenge the status quo… will your church reach millennials?

The “Let’s Always Do It This Way” Church

There are some churches that are very reluctant to change at all. I’ve been to these kinds of churches that are so stuck on how it’s always been done, they refuse to even move furniture to clean under it. Often times, these churches forget that Jesus didn’t do church the way they do it. They refuse to change because they feel like they have a superior way and everyone that doesn’t get reached by it just isn’t worth reaching. Honestly, many of these churches are beginning to shut down and be forced to close their doors as members die off. It’s sad, really.

We can’t get so stuck in our way that we make it biblical even though it’s nowhere to be found in scripture.

The “Let’s Not Offend Anyone” Church

The Gospel is offensive by nature. Unfortunately, there are churches out there that still refuse to say anything that may offend someone. In the meantime, they sacrifice the Gospel and true transformation on the alter of keeping everyone comfortable.

The reason these churches won’t reach millennials (at least not genuinely) is because the millennial generation is a generation that desires authenticity and truth, even if it’s not easy. They’d rather have you offend them than hide something from them. There’s a reason Donald Trump in his “I don’t care what people think” approach is staying in the presidential race… it’s because he’s perceived as being real even if he’s not agreeable.

The “Let’s Be Everything” Church

Authenticity rules. The churches that have 5 different “types” of services and preach nothing but self help messages look from the outsider’s perspective like they have no identity or authenticity. Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to preach life applicable messages or have a traditional and contemporary service, I’m saying to know who you are and do it well. If you’re called to have 2 different services, do it well and do both like they are your calling. If you’re doing a “contemporary” service because you want to use young people and pacify a couple of families that hold some power, millennials will see right through it. Do what you do with conviction and sincerity.

As a generation, we’re an untapped resource for the church. The key is to demonstrate and communicate our transformative, eternity changing message in a way that is desirable and easy to grasp.

How are you seeing churches get it right when it comes to reaching millennials?


*This article was originally posted on JonathanPearson.net*


Jonathan Pearson is a millennial determined to leave the world in better shape than he found it. He is the Orangeburg Campus Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church and Assistant Director of The Sticks Network. He is the co-creator of MillennialLeader.com, an online community for young leaders and author of Next Up: 8 Shifts Great Young Leaders Make. Check out his blog at JonathanPearson.net and connect with him on Twitter.

Written by Brandon Kelley

Brandon Kelley is the co-founder of Rookie Preacher and the author of Preaching Sticky Sermons and Crucified to Life. He serves as the Spiritual Development Pastor at a fast growing church in Batavia, Ohio, called The Crossing. Among the many things he does at The Crossing, serving on the teaching team is one of them. He also writes at BrandonKelley.org. You can follow him @BrandonKelley_. Watch his sermons here.