Stay Focused On Community Outreach: How To Be Active In The Modern World

Churches have a history of being considered old fashioned, and younger people are not engaging with churches at the same rate that they did in earlier generations because the Church seems to be stuck in time. Outdated music, stale services and lack of communication with younger members has seen the number of teens and young adults in churches dwindle over the last two decades. There are several things that churches can do to make sure that they are targeting the younger demographics and engaging them at a place where those youngsters feel comfortable, but it takes work and dedication on the part of the church.

Social Media

Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular sites on the internet, and with the rise of smartphone technology, young people can be on those sites at any time and any place. Every church needs to have a Facebook page and Twitter feed that young people can post to, ask questions on or find information about the church. Not only will the church get increased participation from young people because of the social media, but the friends and family of the young members will be exposed to what is going on with the church through broadcasts and Twitter activity by the young members. This is the single greatest way to spread word about the ministry of the church, and it costs nothing for the church to set up; it only requires a time commitment to keep the feeds updated.

Web Site

At the start of the internet boom many churches hoped on the bandwagon and made web pages, but they never did work to keep the sites updated or optimized for new internet technology, so now the pages just look dated. Since most young people, especially young adults, are going to find out about the church through a web search before they visit, an excellent site is necessary to attract them. Christian designers, like the team at Ministry Designs, understand the need for good quality sites as ministry tools, and the sites have tools that make the ministry of the church much more effective. Things like an online archive of past sermons and a way to tithe electronically match well with the lifestyles of young adults and makes them more willing to become active in the ministry and activities of the church.

Non-Traditional Service Times

Traditionally services have always been held on Sunday mornings, and while this works for most small churches and for older church members, this is not always the best time to have services. Young adults and older teens enjoy being able sleep in on Sunday mornings and the thought of having to wake up for a 9 AM Sunday School and a 10:30 service on a Sunday morning is not something that many of them are going to want to do on a regular basis. Some of the most successful services for young people are actually those that are held early on a Friday or Saturday evening, a time when many of those young people are already out and about with their friends. Church services are easier to fit in to their schedule at these times, and they are more likely to bring people with them when they do not have to attend early on a Sunday morning. For small churches this may not work, as there might not be enough people to hold regular evening services, but medium and large churches should make non-traditional service times a priority to attract younger members.

The Church must constantly change and adapt if it is going to be relevant in the modern world, and this means doing things that will attract younger members to the congregation. Once a church finds a foothold with the local young adults can grow rapidly and create a very positive buzz in the community.

Guest Author
I am Matthew Connor and I have been a church planter for ten years. During my time as a planter, I have learned that the biggest problem that churches have right now is that they cannot keep college aged members and young professionals, and this has led to a generation gap in the Church that is becoming critical. Unless we find a way to speak to those people in their late teens and early 20s, the American church will continue to decline.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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