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?
In this episode, Chris Abel suggests three specific ways church leaders can make sure they are on the right track with young adult ministry. Those ways include:
Pay attention to your environment—Be watching and listening to what is going on in your setting. You should be uniquely focused on the context of your environment, and understand that part of your environment is what people think about your church even if they do not attend. You must be a student of your specific culture.
Distribute your leadership—Chris shares an experiment he has been pursuing in his own ministry setting to push the leadership responsibilities to members of the group. Every church leader is going to need a team; what are you doing to create your team?
Tap into all generations—No one agonizes over young people like the parents of young people. Many young people will come to your church because of their connections with the older adults in their lives.
What do Millennials hear when someone says, “When I was your age…”? Today’s podcast focuses on a few phrases that Millennials sometimes hear from other generations, and how they may be interpreting those phrases regardless of what those who say them intend. Some of our responses just come from the fact that we are busy, stressed, or just don’t want to think about what has been suggested. What kinds of responses can we give to Millennials that will validate them?
In the past it appeared that churches were filled with a disproportionately large percentage of women. But today it appears that millennial men are more likely to show up at church than were their predecessors. Research suggests that millennial males express their masculinity differently than previous generations, and how they view church attendance is part of this changing view. So what does a 21st Century masculinity look like, and what does the local church need to do to appeal to this changing demographic?
In our continuing passion for understanding the do's and don'ts of leadership to millennials and gen Z so that we can do a better job engaging them, Chris and Chris look at four areas--creativity, short-term success, comfort, and command--that can easily displace God as the object of our ministries.
It seems that many churches have trouble finding people of millennial age to lead their gen Y ministries. How important is this for the success of this ministry? Chris and Chris also discuss whether it is the Gospel that people are tired of hearing about, or is it something else?