Sarah Heath, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Costa Mesa, CA, joins Chris Abel on this week’s podcast. Sarah tells the story of the restart of a hundred year-old church where all six generations are now represented in one location. A church with a lot of history has weathered a lot of difficult times, and creating change must happen in the context of the experiences that members have carried for a long time. How does one create a new environment amidst individuals who have been bruised and burned over the years?
It could be that mission experiences are the best starting points for engaging millennials at your church. In this episode we discuss the idea of using service projects as a launching point to connect with the desire of many millennials to gain new experiences while acting on their desire to make the world a better place.
Chris Abel shares what happened at a recent experience where a men’s group of gen X’ers and Boomers invited him to one of their monthly breakfasts. What happens when older generations don’t feel respected, and younger generations don’t feel loved? Ideas for millennial outreach include a financial course taught in public spaces, why weekend services matter, the importance of personal invitations, and the Alpha program. In part 2, Chris and Chris discuss whether it’s a myth or not that everyone leaves church in their 20’s, but always comes back later when they have kids. This week we also introduce a segment called “One Step” where we give just one step a church can put into practice to engage with millennials.
In this special video presentation--which is an abridged version of podcast 24--Chris Folmsbee chats with millennial marketing expert Brad Hanna about how church is like the chocolate industry. You heard that right…chocolate. To hear Brad also give some excellent ideas of how the church can begin to interact with the millennial generation in ways besides the traditional Sunday morning service, listen to the audio version beginning at the 11:30 mark.
In this episode, Chris Folmsbee talks with Chris Abel about what encourages and discourages him in his work with millennials, the importance of novelty and collaboration in ministry, and the need to choose one's words carefully. We also explore what appears to be a counter-intuitive trend of progressive young people gravitating towards conservative and neo-fundamentalist churches.