'If You Build It, They Will Come'
New Generation Determines the Future of the Church
Written by Kelly Mayerick
Good New, etc. | Page 17
September 1, 2011
We aspire to live out Jesus' mandate in Matthew 28:18-20, reaching and teaching the next generation of the gospel, so that the Church’s commitment to evangelism, discipleship, and global missions will never die.
The gospel is applicable to all ages and if we follow God’s guidance we will find that every church needs all ages to be healthy. The older generation will benefit from the zest and energy of the younger generation and that generation needs the guidance and wisdom of the older generation. Thus, every generation must work together.
The Next Generation, the Millennials
Millennials are described as children born roughly between 1975 and 1995. Eighty-million strong, this technology-loving generation believes in working smarter and taking more time for self and family. They are more ethnically and racially diverse and are on track to become the most educated generation in American history.
These young adults value their relationships and are able to meet and keep in touch with family and friends all over the world because of digital technology. The Pew Research Center (2010) states that the Millennial generation is steeped in digital technology and social media, and calls them history’s first “always connected” generation. They treat their multi-tasking hand-held gadgets almost like a body part. In fact, 83% of Millennials sleep with their cell phone on or next to their bed.
The report shows few differences in religious beliefs of Millennials compared to their elders today. For instance, Millennials are just as likely as older adults to believe in life after death (75% vs. 74%), heaven (74% each), and hell (62% vs. 59%). And, an impressive 64% of these young adults say they are absolutely certain of God’s existence.
Sadly, the report states the Millennial generation is currently the least overtly religious American generation in modern times. They are less likely to be affiliated with a church than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations were when they were young.
So now, we must ask the question ‘Why isn’t the Millennial generation attending church?’
Reaching the Millennials
Daniel Cook, founder of Building God's Way (BGW), is touring the nation with a message of hope. Mr. Cook, along with BGW’s preferred Southern California builder, Erickson-Hall Construction, will be hosting Not Your Parent’s Church mini-seminars locally to suggest a new approach that will transform church facilities to reach the Millennial generation.
“Not Your Parent’s Church mini-seminars provide the opportunity for pastors and leaders to learn about future demographic changes that will affect church attendance. The items discussed are designed to help the church be proactive rather than reactive.” says Mr. Cook. “Helping churches adapt to better meet the needs of the Millennials will have a positive impact on family, community, fellowship, and worship. Integrating today’s technology into the Church, such as texting, will allow different methodologies for communication. Enabling the Millennials to use their skills and talents openly and freely in the Church environment will only enhance their worship experience.”
Jim Fisher, Construction Manager for Erickson-Hall Construction suggests, “Creating dynamic spaces where small groups can comfortably gather will entice the Millennial generation. We know the Millennials want to be ‘connected’. Incorporating state-of-the-art technology into the facility will not only encourage the next generation to attend, learn, and communicate, but to also build lasting relationships.”
We, as believers, have made a commitment to reach out to the younger generation. This means we cannot wait for the next generation to come to us, we must take the gospel to them. And, it is our responsibility to present the gospel in a way that they can receive it.
With the rise of the Millennials, is your church facility equipped to accommodate and 'shepherd the new flock'? Erickson-Hall Construction and BGW are co-hosting two FREE Not Your Parent’s Church mini seminars and luncheons:
• New Hope Community Church, Chula Vista, CA on October 20, 2011 from 10am-1:30pm
• Calvary Community Church, Brea, CA on November 8, 2011 from 10am-1:30pm
If you are interested in attending either event, please contact (760) 796-7700 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Pre-registration is required, call today. (www.bgwservices.com)