Church... Millennials Aren’t Reading Your Bulletin

Where do you get “the news?” The answer to this question is a quick indicator of with which generation you identify with.  When was the last time you bought a newspaper or waited for the 6pm evening news. 

Subscriptions to newspapers have been declining for years and the industry looks for ways to reach more readers via mobile and digital services. Nightly television news programs are broadcast on national and local stations multiple times a day, with information that tech-savvy viewers have known for hours. 

The majority of Baby Boomers still get their news and information from television programming and many subscribe to weekly, if not daily, newspapers. Millennials, on the other hand, get their news from Facebook and Twitter. Just because they aren’t pursuing traditional forms of obtaining information doesn’t mean that they aren’t staying on top of current events. 

According to research conducted by Media Insight Project, “18- to 29-year-olds seek out news on social issues more than any other age group, at 64 percent. A reported 79 percent of millennials in their early 30s said they try to keep up on news on national government and politics, a slightly higher average than the 40-59 group.”

We live in an era of information overload. There is too much news in the world to be processed on a daily basis. As a result, the “worst” news or most horrific story is given the highest priority, often spreading fear and global apprehension. 

For decades churches have relied upon the weekly bulletin, faithfully distributed every worship servive prior to the service with the Order of Worship written in detail, to communicate upcoming events and the latest information. Most churches make worship service announcements, either at the beginning or end of the worship service, which always seem to interrupt the purpose and flow of worship. 

Is it possible to communicate the news of the church in a more effective manner and engage millennials in the process?

Why not creatively film the announcements each week and post them on Facebook – even prior to the service?  Why not use humor and quick cuts to make the announcements equal parts informational and entertainment? 

Taking surveys of your congregation is another effective way to learn how they receive information. Some churches take the approach of trying to communicate through every possible medium available, which takes an incredible amount of time, energy, and coordination. Instead of taking the shotgun approach, find out which avenues best speak to your congregation and start there. You may even be able to finish there.

In the long run, learning how to communicate digitally will be both cost effective and help connect with the digital-native millennials in your church and community.