This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.
I believe this is an area where all church members are responsible….not just leaders. The church is the body, not a building. I imagine I am sensitive to making young adults and families feel welcome during a church event or worship service because I was saved as an adult with small children. I distinctly remember the warmth we felt as we entered the door on that first Sunday going to church as a family. I have noticed that younger families and young adults have a tendency to be a one time visitor rather than an active member of the body than an average or older adult coming to visit for the first time.
How to Attract Young Adults and Families and Keep Them Coming Back
Many churches across the country are seeing a rise in the average age of their congregations. While the number of elderly churchgoers is rising or at least remaining consistent, numerous churches are finding that there is a dearth of young adults or families with young children populating their pews. Some of those in leadership believe that simply changing the style of their worship services to include contemporary music will be enough to bolster their numbers in this area. However, there is actually much more to it than that. Modern churches must find ways to appeal to the younger crowd while remaining true to their beliefs.
Surprisingly to some, young adults are not looking to get away from traditional spiritual principles; on the contrary, there is a growing trend towards high church among young adults as well as a commitment to a daily devotional life. In other words, these young people are interested in Bible reading, prayer and some forms of liturgy. Churches can also reach out to young adults by offering various ministries that specifically target this age group. Churches that offer young adult or college-age Bible studies and groups often find that they have a higher attendance in this age category on Sunday. In addition, while young adults tend to like some high church, they also feel quite comfortable with new technology. Therefore, churches can make an effort to incorporate this technology during their services and while online. Churches can create social media pages, use projectors during worship services, create a mobile-friendly website and much more.
While families with children have some of the same needs at church, they also have a slightly different set of problems. These individuals need to feel welcome even with their young children. They do not want to feel judged if their child is crying during a service, and they do not want to feel that they cannot attend events because their children are not welcome. Some ways that churches can combat this is by being sure to provide childcare during adult-centered events and by creating well-staffed nurseries. In fact, many parents, particularly those with newborns, appreciate being able to hear and even see the church service from the comfort of the nursery. In addition, churches can help parents to form playgroups where they can get together with church friends to chat, relax and have a safe place for sharing all while their children are playing together.
However, none of this will work unless spiritual leaders and church workers are genuine and caring while actively reaching out to church attendees. Leaders can find small group studies, media and more at several online sites, such as at Creative Pastors. Special interest conferences can also appeal to young adults and families. Ed Young is just one such speaker who can apply spiritual truths to everyday concerns.
Those churches that stand firm in their beliefs are much more appealing to young adults and families than are those that change with the culture. Younger people want to feel that the church is reaching out to them and that they have an important role to play in their local church. Church leadership would benefit from embracing newer technology and adding appropriate programs to their calendar of events while putting major effort into being genuine and caring in their communication.
I challenge you as a family to make a difference in this common church dilemma. Start a playgroup or small group as a family. You can be part of the restoring this common church dilemma. Feel free to pass this message along to your friends and church body.