Everyday we get older, and so do our churches. It’s a law of nature. As I consult with churches, I’m finding more and more “contemporary” churches struggling to continue reaching the 20-30’s crowd, especially as the leadership grows older. Most often, the conversation turns to style of music, type of teaching, who’s on stage, and the production value of the service. But for a second, let’s set this debate aside and talk about 10 ways to connect with the 20-30’s crowd before they even enter your worship center.
- Create a clean, intuitive website with real life photos (not stock) and media that reflect a youthful spirit and diverse congregation (this is their first impression). Just make sure your online representation is reflected in your on-site presentation.
- Point guests to social media so they can follow you. They may want to stalk you for awhile.
- Provide an equal amount of parking for preschool families in minivans as you do for handicapped parking for town cars. Take this to the next level with parking volunteers to assist young families.
- Recruit a first impressions team (parkers, greeters, hosts) that is weighted toward the 20-30’s crowd you are trying to reach. Ultimately, strive for diversity in age, sex, marital status and race.
- Compare the design and environment of your facility to the places that 20-30’s go (restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores). It may be time for an update.
- Take the guess-work out of the first-time parent experience. Create highly visible areas with volunteers (not just computers) to give children’s information and assist in check-in.
- Hire/recruit great nursery, preschool, and children’s leaders/volunteers with the vision and resources to execute great children’s programming and exceed parental expectations.
- Dress casual; this crowd doesn’t even own a suit or tie.
- Staff your guest information areas with 20-30’s who have high relational intelligence and the ability to make a guest feel special.
- Don’t forget single adults! Provide connection paths for singles such as small groups and events.
In many cases, these changes can happen without all the controversy that can sometimes happen with programming changes. So start here. And, as more young adults connect and engage, it’ll be easier to transition the programming aspects over time.