How To Engage The Youth Of Today

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

custom church website buttonOne 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

grow your church buttonNo 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.

7 Tips To Increase Engagement To Improve Church Attendance

Church leaders are always looking for ways to improve church attendance. Most of the time, it all comes down to finding ways to increase engagement.

Even the most devout members may not want to attend if they feel bored or seem to have no purpose within the church.

This doesn’t mean you have to give up. This means your members need you more now than ever. They need church leaders to engage them and make church something to look forward to every week.

1. Ask What Members Enjoy/Want Most

While 40% of Americans say they attend church weekly, the real number is closer to 20%, at least according to one study. No matter what your numbers are, your members are your greatest asset when it comes to improving engagement and attendance.

You don’t have to be a mind reader or look to other churches to get ideas. Instead, talk with your members to see what they enjoy or look forward to the most. Also, ask them what they want from church. Perhaps you’re starting to get a majority of younger members and they prefer modern Christian music versus traditional hymns. Learn from your church family in order to give them the best worship service possible.

custom church website button2. Create More Ways To Get Involved

One of the most common reasons people give for not attending church regularly is they’re too busy. By the time Sunday rolls around, they just want to relax instead of sitting and listening to someone talk. Improve church attendance by creating more ways for members to be involved. A more active approach creates more of a social community that everyone enjoys.

Create more volunteer opportunities, have trivia at the end of each sermon (suddenly, everyone will be listening), have study groups that mix up each week (mix up members and leaders) and anything else you can think of. Involvement is engaging.

3. Talk With Members Versus At Them

People are talked at enough by their bosses at work. When they feel like they’re just a nameless face in a crowd being talked or preached at, they’re not going to want to attend regularly. This is one area where small churches can truly shine. As you get to know your members, you’re able to add in messages that truly speak to them.

Make eye contact, bring up a funny anecdote that happened between you and a member, have members ask questions and ask them about their thoughts on a topic. It’ll feel more like a conversation than a sermon.

4. Build Excitement Throughout The Week

No one can deny that a long week of working eight hours a day, commuting for an hour or more each day, going to kids’ sporting events and helping kids with their homework wears people out. This is why you have to build excitement during the week. Think of it like the latest Apple product release. There’s this massive build-up as the release date gets closer and it makes everyone feel like they have to have whatever it is.

Improve church attendance by doing the same thing. Put up teasers about your upcoming sermon, post inspiration messages on social media and put riddles on your blog related to the coming weekend’s message. The idea is to get members eager to hear what you have to say.

grow your church button5. Add In A Little Humor

Church isn’t mean to be entertaining. It’s actually quite serious, but it’s even easier to get your point across with a little humor thrown in. For instance, listen to how Ken Davis uses funny stories to teach God’s word. While listeners are laughing, they’re also learning. It’s an engaging way to preach and makes church more entertaining. If comedy doesn’t come easily, let members volunteer to tell family friendly funny stories themselves. After all, everyone has that one story to share.

6. Tie In Sermons To Real Issues

If you truly want to engage members, tackle real issues with your sermons. Don’t just talk about a few verses. Instead, tie those verses into something that’s currently going on. When a sermon is relevant to what members are dealing with, they’ll pay more attention. They’ll also come back more because they feel like church leaders truly understand them and their needs.

7. Use Sermons To Motivate And Call Members To Action

Finally, use sermons to motivate and get members to take action. Inspire members to do something kind for a neighbor this week or explain how even that first little step could change someone’s life forever. Members want to feel uplifted and find direction in their lives. Weekly sermons can do just that. While it might be the hardest thing on this list, it could be exactly what you need to improve church attendance.

Looking for ways to engage members all week long? Contact us today to find out how our team can help you reach members online.

How Your Website Can Turn Church Visitors Into Engaged Members

how your website can turn your church into engaged members

Your church website isn’t just a static page with a picture of your church and worship hours. It can be one of the most powerful tools you have in turning those first time and sporadic church visitors into highly engaged members.

It’s always difficult to know exactly what visitors are looking for in a church. One or two visits isn’t nearly enough for them to get to know the family and community they could be joining.

With so many people relying on the Internet to help them make important decisions, including where to worship, it’s time to let your website help your church bring in more regular, engaged members.

Showcase Activities, Events And Worship Hourscustom church website button

One of the top things that ruins how a new visitor sees your church is a bad website. Visitors want to visit your church’s site and get more details on worship hours, regular activities, charitable associations, and any upcoming events. If the site is poorly designed and doesn’t make this type of information available, visitors might think your church isn’t that interested in retaining members. A better site with all relevant information easily accessible could make a major difference in church attendance.

Offer An Email Newsletter

Some churches ask new visitors to sign up for an email newsletter during their first visit. Odds are, you’re probably going to miss a few people or new visitors might be too shy to draw attention to themselves right away. After all, they’re still on the fence about whether to join or not.

The solution is to offer an email newsletter on your website. This could be a once or twice a week newsletter filled with inspiring content and a calendar of events. Ask visitors and even current members to please sign up on the website. It’s less pressure and allows you to stay in contact with anyone who signs up, leading to more engaged members.

Include A Welcome Forum On Your Site

It’s vital to start bringing in more millennials to your church. This is the generation that know show to spread the word on social media and connect with the digital generation. The sad thing is 44% of millennials see church as an exclusive club.

Keep them coming back by offering a welcome forum on your site. Ask members to check in to the forums throughout the week to talk with visitors online. Visitors can introduce themselves, ask members questions about the church and get a better idea of the community. The idea is to make everyone feel welcome.

Provide Regular Useful Content

Your church website needs to be updated frequently. When someone visits your church, they’re probably looking for a new place to worship. Either before or after their visit, they’ll likely look for your website to learn more. What will they find?

If you want to be seen as an active church family, your site needs to reflect that. Show visitors what your church has to offer with regular blog posts, inspiring messages, personal thoughts on current events and even fun activities outside the church that are family friendly. A church that connects with members online is a church that connects in person too. This is vital to having more engaged members.

grow your church buttonAdd In Personal Stories From Members

No matter what a pastor might say, the truth about a church comes out in what members have to say about it. Add a section to your site with personal stories from members. Encourage members to submit their own stories about what they like and even dislike. Honesty is vital as it’ll make your church seem like a true family and not a fake community.

Offer Interactive Resources

One of the best ways for your website to turn church visitors into engaged members is through interactive resources. When visitors were looking for a new church, 83% said sermon quality was most important, while 74% said worship style was important.

Show them what they need to know by offering podcasts, online sermons, live chats throughout the week, downloadable ebooks for study or motivation and other digital resources. These allow visitors to connect with the church on their own terms. Before you know it, those visitors are becoming new church members.

Engaged Members Are Just A Few Clicks Away

The distance between visitors and engaged members could be just a few clicks of a mouse or taps of a finger. Help visitors get to know your church and your church family by making your website a one-stop shop filled with information and resources.

Want to turn your site into a valuable resource for bringing in new members? See how our custom church web design services help give visitors exactly what they’re looking for.