You don’t have to visit too many small town churches to figure out they’re not doing a great job of reaching younger people. Oh sure, if you asked them, they would say they have a desire to see their kids and grandkids in church, but for the most part they’re not willing to make the changes necessary to connect with young adults. When this is the case, it’s only a matter of time before the church closes its doors.
Hopefully, you’ve realized that by now, which is why you’re reading this post. If you want to connect with young adults, here are seven ideas to try.
- Change the music. I debated about putting this one first because I know some of you will stop reading at this point, but it has to be said. The majority of young adults are not enthusiastic about going to a church that plays mostly hymns. That’s why many churches have moved to a more contemporary or even modern style of worship music. If you want to reach young adults, you should be thinking of making the shift as well. That doesn’t mean you have to throw out the hymns altogether, but you do need to learn how to present them in a new way for a new generation.
- Be active on social media. If your church is located in the United States, you better believe people in your community are on social media. Your church should at least have its own Facebook page, and it would be a good idea for you to have one as well. Most people will connect online before they decide to visit the church in person.
- Keep you website clean and up to date. There are few things worse than visiting a church website and finding out it’s not been updated in years. If you have a calendar, keep it updated. If you have photos, make sure you change them out every few months. If you have a website but you’re not sure where to start, you can find out more info in this post.
- Have young adults volunteering in first impressions. Hopefully, your church has a first impressions team, those people in the parking lot and at the doors greeting people. Make sure you have some young adults in those positions. Young adults are more likely to connect to your church if they see other people in their age range and stage of life.
- Make kid’s ministry a top priority. It’s very unlikely a family will stay at your church if you don’t have a good kid’s ministry. Parents these days tailor almost everything around their kids, so you better find a way to meet their expectations. Find out the three most important pieces of the kid’s ministry puzzle here.
- Lose the suit and tie. Most young adults don’t even own a suit and tie anymore, so why are you still wearing one? One of the most impactful changes the church I serve ever made was our pastor’s decision to dress more casual. It makes you more comfortable as well as your guests.
- Update your facility. I’m not talking about major changes because I know most of you can’t afford that. But, adding a new coat of paint shouldn’t break the bank. Think of ways you can improve the look of your building, and if you’re really brave, find a way to replace those pews with chairs.
That’s my list, but I’d love to hear what’s working at your church. Leave a comment, and let me know what your church is doing to reach younger adults. Also, would you be so kind to share this link with another pastor or church leader? My goal is to help small town churches reach their potential, and you sharing this article helps me accomplish that.
2 thoughts on “Seven Ways You Can Better Connect with Young Adults”
I appreciate the info regarding young adults. However, I pastor a small rural church where some of the members are 10 to 20 years older than I. I wear a suit when I preach and feel comfortable doing that. I do not see how the way I dress will or should affect whether or not a person feels comfortable. I do not ask or demand that anyone else dress as I do. If they want to dress down that is fine. If the way I dress makes them feel uncomfortable that is a personal problem and I say this simply disagreeing with you on dress. I am not Rick Warren and I feel that when I present the Word of God that I should look my best. I am not aware of any statistics that show how a pastor dresses affects the age, attitude, or number of congregants. I am not angry with you brother. I just do not see how the pastor dresses makes a difference. Thanks
Keith, thanks so much for the comment. I appreciate your opinion. I just know for our church how the pastor dressed made a huge difference to the people in our community. People who didn’t grow up in church, or had given up on church, were much more comfortable coming to our church when the pastor started dressing more casual. It’s played a big part in helping us reach young families. Thom Rainer former president of Lifeway wrote a blog addressing how a pastor dresses that you may find helpful as well. Make sure to read the comments also to hear many different opinions. https://thomrainer.com/2015/07/six-thoughts-about-proper-pastoral-attire-for-worship-services/