Two Reasons Millennials Will Not Be Compelled to Join Your Church

My attention was recently directed to this article on why millennials are leaving their workplaces.


The article got me thinking about the dozens of churches I am in conversation with regarding how they can be more intentional about reaching millennials.  While the article linked above gives 4 reasons why millennials are leaving their companies, I’d like to focus on two of the four reasons that millennials won’t find lasting relevance in your church.

Reason # 1: Lack of Meaning and Purpose

If the reason why you exist as a church is not easily understood and, therefore, met with mutual participation, it is likely you will not be able to retain millennials. Millennials want to be a part of something that is pregnant with meaning.  Is the narrative you are telling big enough?  Is it compelling enough?

Reason # 2: Lack of Perceived Value

Millennials need to know that you as a church (and you specifically as a leader or pastor) value their participation, voice, etc.  Many pastors I talk to think that millennials need to be “patted on the back every five seconds” and “only care about what makes them look good.” (Those are actual quotes from pastors I talked to recently).  I disagree.  Millennials want to know that their unique contribution and involvement is 

  1. Making a difference to the greater whole

  2. Worth their time

  3. Maximizing their skills and gifts

How is this different than any generational mindset? 
In order to attract, keep and deploy millennials, churches need to make sure there is a purpose rich with deep meaning and significance and that the church value’s their contribution, perspective and voice.  

Three questions for reflection and discussion with your ministry teams:  

  1. What is the narrative your church is telling?

  2. Is it a compelling enough narrative to attract, keep and deploy millennials?

  3. In what ways can we show millennials how much we value their contribution, perspective and voice?