Christian Retailing

NEWSLETTERS Current Issue ICRS: Pastors learn about attracting millennials to church
ICRS: Pastors learn about attracting millennials to church PDF Print E-mail
Written by Natalie Gillespie   
Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:16 AM EDT

MillennialsPanel-PalmerChinchenTwitter-webHonesty, authenticity and relationship are the keys to bringing young people back to the church, a panel of millennials experts told pastors heard at the Mission & Community: Embracing the Kingdom Today workshop hosted by CBA and RBC Ministries to close out ICRS 2014 Wednesday in Atlanta. 

The four-hour session was designed to encourage church leaders to become more purposeful and engaging in their approach to the next generation.

“Millennials are leaving the church, but they aren’t leaving the faith,” said Brad Lomenick, director of Catalyst. “They may be leaving the four walls and Sunday morning experience, but as far as having faith, they are equally or maybe more motivated than any generation before.”

“It’s really about capturing the millennial soul, not capturing the millennial mind,” said Palmer Chinchen, author and pastor of Phoenix-based The Grove. “The evangelical movement of the last 20 years has turned faith into an intellectual transaction with God. It’s not a single-moment decision; the gospel is something millennials want to live.”

Roxanne Stone, vice president of Barna Group, said that millennials want to know how faith connects to their everyday life.

“Millennials are in search of something that helps them live well; 35% say they do not go to church because it is not personally relevant to them,” Stone said. “Millennials are trying to figure out what faith has to say to them Monday through Friday: What does it say about the vocation I am in? Is my work in the world blessed by God? It’s about their whole calling in life. We need more millennials talking to millennials about the significance of church, about why you cannot love Jesus and not love the church.”

Church pastors and ministry leaders also need to let young people ask hard questions about the faith, said Dennis Moles, Bible teacher at RBC Ministries.

“If we tell them not to ask questions, to stay in the box and behave, they are going to go ask someone else—someone like their philosophy professor who is not a Christian,” Moles said. “We need to figure out how to have conversations that matter rather than threatening them about their behavior. It’s time to stop trying to scare the hell out of people.”

Building relationships is the key, the panel agreed.

“[To reach millennials,] we have to walk through the places we would normally walk around,” Moles said. “That’s what Jesus did in John 4 when he went through Samaria, a place where no good respecting rabbi would find himself. He locked eyes with this woman and met her right there.”

“I think in the old days in Christian leadership, we had this mentality that we had to look good, to ‘hide it till I’m found out and make sure no one around me knows,’ ” Lomenick said. “We need to be broken, be vulnerable, be real because people around you know it already. That kind of openness is really important to younger people.”

Lomenick said that if people in ministry build open, honest relationships with them, millennials will want to show up and hang out.

“Millennials are starving for authenticity,” he said. “If you’re the real deal, they will respond to you and want to be connected to you.”

 

In this current issue:

IVP to publish ‘one of the most important Christian artists of our day’

News image

InterVarsity Press (IVP) has announced the acquisition of three books...

READ MORE

WaterBrook Press to publish upcoming Rifqa Bary memoir

News image

Muslim-turned-Christian Rifqa Bary takes readers beyond the headlines of her...

READ MORE

U.S. retail sales pick up slightly in August

News image

Commerce Department figures announced Friday showed a 0.6% increase for...

READ MORE

‘Harbinger’ follow-up hits ‘New York Times’ list

News image

Jonathan Cahn’s The Mystery of the Shemitah (FrontLine) has charted simultaneously...

READ MORE

HCSB translation joins Blue Letter Bible site

News image

The full text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)...

READ MORE

Southern gospel event aims for record attendance

News image

Preparations are under way for the National Quartet Convention to...

READ MORE

CBA announces ICRS 2015 theme

News image

CBA has announced the 2015 International Christian Retail Show (ICRS)...

READ MORE

HarperCollins hires new Bible executive

News image

HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP) announced Thursday that John Kramp will...

READ MORE

Southern Gospel Music Association announces Hall of Fame inductees

News image

The Southern Gospel Music Association (SGMA) announced the eight individuals...

READ MORE

Chick-fil-A founder and author Truett Cathy dies at 93

News image

S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A founder and chairman emeritus, died at...

READ MORE

Harvest House apologetics author John Weldon dies at 66

News image

Harvest House Publishers author John Weldon died Saturday afternoon, Aug....

READ MORE

Willie Robertson joins ‘Left Behind’ production team

News image

Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson will executive-produce Left Behind, the...

READ MORE
100%
-
+
0
Show options

a