We sat three-quarters of the way back in the sanctuary, clutching the visitor cards with no intention of filling them out. In our early 20s, my husband and I had just moved to a new town and were looking for a church home.
But I had already done the math—this was NOT the church for us.
I actually counted: Over half of the congregants were grandparent-aged. But that wasn't a problem; I craved a church with spiritual maturity. The issue was that not one single leader was in my generation—no Millennial pastors, associate pastors or small group leaders.
Today, I'm going to share with you how you can use positions of leadership to win and keep Millennials in church.
How Millennial Leadership Draws Millennials
Millennials are driven by passion and purpose. By giving them a chance to serve in leadership, you are providing an avenue for them to follow their passions and connect with the purpose of your church body.
Millennials will be drawn to seeing their own age group valued in leadership. This is true for any age group, gender or cultural group, too. No one wants to be in an environment where none of the decision-makers look, act or think like them.
Experiencing leadership firsthand will provide Millennials with a sense of security and belonging. Millennials value transparency and authenticity, so serving in leadership themselves gives a chance for them to see how decisions are made in your organization. When they see your team working in a godly and intentional way, they will feel more committed and at-home than ever.
While many churches have informal leadership positions, you may decide it's time to begin a formal training program or even an ordination program. Your church can easily establish a legally-compliant ordination program with StartCHURCH's Equipped to Ordain video course. To get started, call us today at (888) 724-5154.
So, how do Millennial leaders benefit your church or ministry?
1. It is well known that future generations must carry on the work of the kingdom. Strategically placing a generation in leadership helps draw their generation to God and perpetuates the ministry for their successors.
2. Millennials have a unique voice. If you can tap into their perspectives and ideas, you will be more fully utilizing the skills that God has placed inside your body (1 Cor. 12:12-27).
3. Millennials and Gen Z have solutions for the future. The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey found that despite the vast personal challenges faced during the pandemic, these two generations "remained focused on larger societal issues ... If anything, the pandemic has reinforced their desire to help drive positive change in their communities and around the world." Can you imagine the impact these generations can have in your church/ministry?
Where to Place Millennials in Leadership
In short, anywhere they're called! This is a great chance to communicate with aspiring leaders to find out their passions and skills. Mentor them. Encourage them to pursue their interests and learn new skills.
Here are some ideas for roles where younger people could be a natural fit:
— Children's ministry. This role requires a lot of energy, so younger generations might be a natural fit. Just be sure you're not simply enlisting babysitters. Mentor them in lesson planning, discipling, prayer, child development and deeper spiritual components of this valuable ministry.
— Digital marketing. Managing your church's online presence is a lot of work. But a savvy Millennial or Gen Z may find it easier to navigate. Consider inviting these age groups to lead your online strategies. Equip them with resources to learn church branding, social media marketing, graphic design or other technical skills. You may even ask them to manage your church's website.
— Compliance. This may seem an unexpected niche for a Millennial, but you know StartCHURCH is all about compliance, and you'd be surprised how many Millennials and Gen Zers we have at our company. If you find someone who is organized and dedicated, they might be perfect for leading your church in compliance. Discuss with them to see if they're interested in receiving training in compliance.
— Income generation. Many Millennials already own their own businesses. This generation is interested in entrepreneurship, so why not enlist them to help fund the church or ministry? While they could serve as fundraisers, you may find more are interested in leading a church-owned business. In my experience, Millennials would rather provide a service or product than ask for money. Check out our for-profit arm service and see if any of your Millennials are drawn to this calling. And don't leave Gen Z out; they are demonstrating even higher rates of entrepreneurism.
Investing in Upcoming Generations
There is no limit to leadership roles for Millennials, but there is a limit to the Millennials you can reach without strategically including their generation in leadership.
And here's some good news for you. First, investing in leadership will multiply God's work, so it's well worth the effort. Second, you're never alone. At StartCHURCH, we're always happy to help. If you want to train some leaders, we have resources in church branding, compliance and building your own website. We also have StartSITES Creative to make it a breeze to get your church website started. If you have any questions, please call (888) 724-5154 and one of our friendly specialists will speak with you about how we can serve you.
Laura Archambault is a front-end developer who helps manage the StartCHURCH website. In everything she does, she is passionate about the leaders and ministry workers who use our website. She is driven to make sure the digital StartCHURCH experience brings joy and ease to your God-given work.
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