It’s a problem that churches face every day – millennials are leaving and not coming back.
This disturbing trend comes from millennials wanting something different from their church. Their lifestyles are different now and they want to be part of a community that reflects those differences.
While many churches try to appeal to millennials with fun technology, your church’s technology needs to be engaging to millennials. Luckily, that’s not nearly as difficult as you might think.
Keep Technology Relevant
Tech trends change rapidly and millennials pay close attention to trends. Why else would they stand outside in the pouring rain for hours for the latest smartphone or tablet? When millennials walk into your church, what do they see?
Is your church’s technology current or are you still using large desktop computers and bulky projectors? The same applies to a church website that looks like it was made in the 90s. Outdated tech makes millennials feel like the community won’t understand them. Make your tech more engaging by keeping up with the trends.
Go Where Millennials Are
Just because many millennials are leaving physical churches, it doesn’t mean they’re no longer interested. In fact, 80% of Christian millennials have posted scripture on various social networking sites and at least 65% prefer to read the Bible on a digital device.
Millennials are the digital generation. If you want to engage them, you have to go where they are. Send out tweets and Facebook posts with scripture and insights from your most recent sermon. Offer social share buttons on your website. You can even create your own app.
Ensure You’re Always Accessible
Millennials are known as the generation that doesn’t exactly have patience. They’re used to be connected 24/7. Texting, social networking and the Internet in general means they’re not used to waiting to get what they want or need. Your church’s technology needs to be just as accessible.
For instance, millennials may lose interest in a church if they only interaction they receive is on Sunday. Instead, have Q&A sessions on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit during the week. Create a community forum on your website for all members to interact during the week. Technology can bring everyone closer together and bring millennials closer to church.
Create A Social Atmosphere
More than anything, millennials crave a casual, community atmosphere in church. They’re not looking for flashy light shows, loud music or a speaker system that makes them feel like they’re being yelled at. Churches don’t have to go overboard on technology. Instead, use your church’s technology to create a more social atmosphere.
For instance, create an app with live surveys during the service. Ask a question and let members provide feedback in real time. Instead of feeling preached at, they feel like part of a community. Even if you’re in a simple building versus a massive cathedral, creating a social, community feeling through simple technology, such as integrating smartphone use into your service, works far better at engaging millennials.
Integrate Technology Naturally
It’s easy to get excited and want to fill your church with all the latest and greatest technology, but think about whether you really need it? Going overboard pushes millennials away. Since all millennials aren’t the same, there isn’t one exact plan for what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to your church’s technology.
The one thing that is clear is technology needs to appear natural. For instance, your church’s website should reflect the tone and personality of the church itself. Start by updating or building an easy to use website, recommend different Bible apps (or create your own church specific app) and integrate smartphones and tablets into services.
The last thing millennials want is to go to church and feel like they’re with a group of people who are trying way too hard to please them. They want to fit in and integrating technology naturally makes them feel more comfortable.
Keep It Simple
Whatever technology you use, keep the focus on worship and not on the tech. After all, millennials want a place where they feel free to be themselves and be authentic. They want to explore their faith in their own way. Technology helps engage them, but they still need spiritual guidance. This is where church and tech come together to create the perfect solution for millennials.
Keep your church’s technology simple and you’ll engage far more millennials. Use tech to be more accessible and social. Even if millennials aren’t physically at church, they’ll still pay attention online and reaching them is what’s most important.
Looking for ways to make your church’s technology more engaging? Start with a custom website that speaks to and engages millennials.
What I see is so upsetting to me.If in America the Body of Christ wants to have power (Galatians1:8-9) we must come out be separate. Stop with abortion/LGBT? Condemnations and Judgments I see a church trying to walk a line between Law and Grace; throw in politics! You lose and so do they. Acts 13. The whole sermon by The Apostle Paul to the gentiles. Nearly the entire city of Antioch was on fire to hear gospel of grace of God. The most beautiful amazing revelations of the mystery.
Well Teresa, we can certainly agree that we want to see people on fire for the gospel. Our encouragement to church leaders everywhere is to not be upset, but instead be inspired to reach the next generation! To do that we need to engage them.