4 Ways Churches Can Reach Digital Natives
The church must learn how to communicate with millennials, the first truly digital-native generation. Those of us over the age of 24, at least according to Jeff Urban’s article on Entreprenuer.com, are digital immigrants — our entertainment priorities center on our TV’s, not on YouTube. For the millennials, however, they seek content and entertainment beyond dish network or cable subscriptions.
According to Urban, people over 24 still cheer for the local sporting teams, supporting the community through season ticket deals and paid-for advertising. Millennials, however, because of their native internet impulses are fans of teams and sports around the world; they are truly global citizens.
Oh, and about broadcasting Sunday morning or Saturday night church services on TV; millennials seeking spiritual content are watching Soul Pancake and Kid President on YouTube. Is your church seeking to engage millennials through native or immigrant means?
According to Urban, “this is the generation that doesn’t want to be marketed to, they’d rather be engaged…It’s important to have a genuine and meaningful social presence to reach millennials. Authentic content is most important to them, and they demand it.”
For millennials, digital conversations all carry the same weight. From Tweet to text, any possible platform is space where they can rant, rave or seek meaningful dialogue. If the church is absent from these conversations, or just uses media to inform members of service times and special events, they are likely completely missing major segments of millennials.
In what ways can your church inspire and reach millennials? Here are a few ideas…
- Develop a small team of millennials to be ministers of social media. Not a team that just sends out information but a team who can initiate and engage conversations on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and/or YouTube. Encourage the team to create their own content about faith and life issues.
- Use social media during worship. Yes, worship services are usually a time to unplug; to rest, and focus everything within us on the One who whispered us into being. However, if we are trying to reach millennials, who are likely digital natives, it is a must.
- Remember: social media is conversation, not marketing. Using your online presence to promote what’s happening at the building is not effective. Social media is a place where millennials gather all the time. Engage them in conversations about the impact of faith and following Jesus where they are.
- Listen Well. Millennials have plenty to say about church, faith, life, and hope. True conversation means that you, too, will learn something. Approach all conversations with an open heart and mind.
See Urban’s article here:
How Growing Up With the Internet Made Millennials Different