When you look around at your church, how many younger members come every week? It’s important to learn how to engage the youth of today so you have regular members in the future.
Churches often struggle to connect with kids and teens. It’s kind of like trying to be the cool parent but still not fully understanding what these younger members truly need from you.
You don’t have to give up on them. They still need guidance from church leaders and members. It’s just learning the right ways to engage them.
Problems Connecting With Younger Members
One of the biggest problems pastors and adult members have when trying to engage the youth of today is trying to make church cool. It’s no big surprise that church isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. In fact, up to half of kids and teens that are part of youth groups growing up don’t stick with their faith as they move on to college.
Your younger members do enjoy a more upbeat worship style, but the focus still needs to be on God and the reasons why a Christian lifestyle is important. Most importantly, it needs to feel like a real conversation with the youth of today instead of just trying to sound like you’re one of them.
Focus On Engaging Storytelling
God’s word isn’t always the easiest to understand. Plus, as it’s written, it doesn’t exactly connect with the youth of today. One thing that does engage them is storytelling. In a world where everyone is constantly sharing their stories on social media, younger members relate more to that method of teaching. When trying to get a point across, use a storytelling approach and don’t forget to involve them in the process as much as possible.
Invest Time In Them
Outside of youth groups, many younger members don’t feel noticed. They may feel like they’re just supposed to blend in, which goes against everything they know. In fact, feeling disconnected from church members is one of the top reasons teens leave the church. It’s important for church leaders and adult church members to make time to talk to them, answer questions, listen to their ideas and more. The easiest way to engage the youth of today is to make them feel like a valued part of the church family.
Give Them A Chance To Get Involved
As with every generation, the youth of today get antsy when they just have to sit and listen. They don’t feel like there’s any point in them being there. Give them the opportunity to help make a difference in their community and in the church. Let older teens lead volunteer projects with younger members. Listen to their concerns and try to get involved in areas that matter to them. This gives them a chance to practice what they’ve been taught, which provides a stronger connection to their faith.
Offer Chances For Them To Talk Freely
No one likes feeling judged and younger members are more sensitive to judgment than your adult members. Engage the youth of today by offering them a place to talk freely. When they’re facing difficult choices in their lives, discuss it with them instead of just telling them what to do.
It’s a good idea to make time during youth group to talk freely with each other. This ensures your young members don’t feel alone and they’ll actually come to youth leaders when they do have a problem. This helps build the sense of community and family that young members want as they transition into adults.
Get Involved On Their Level
Finally, it’s important to remember that to engage the youth of today, you have to get involved on their level. Today’s youth are digital natives. Most of them have had smartphones in their hands since elementary school. On the other hand, many of your adult members are still trying to figure out theirs.
If your church seems outdated, it’s not going to be very engaging. Instead, get your younger members together to help provide tips or even manage social media and your website. Text them to remind them of upcoming events, post messages related to current events to social media, add in some fun Christian humor for them share and even create an online message board for them to interact online.
Ready to engage the youth of today? Start with a website that’s filled with great content for them to interact with and share.