Attendance

By Blesson Mathew, Partnership Coordinator

Recently I had an encounter where a simple hello turned in to a multiple hour long conversation. The topic was on church youth attendance in the Long Island area specifically. From the other person’s perspective, there seemed to be a huge age gap in church attendance with the millennial generation. His simple question was whether hope exists in bringing this age group back to church to become a part of a family of believers. This conversation drove me to dig into the subject a bit more surrounding this age group in my community. 

My results have shown that this initiative is, in fact, not hopeless at all. Research reveals that 96% of Christian millennials believe the Bible contains everything you need to know to live a meaningful life; 96% also claim the Bible is the actual or inspired Word of God. While attendance figures may have dropped for various reasons, the young people that value the Bible and God’s character still care deeply about their commitment to the relevant church as well as investing in working towards a kingdom culture. So, no, my research shows that millennials leaving churches doesn’t necessarily mean that churches are hopeless in their outreach to the demographic. However, there are definitely some strategies out there to assist in this pursuit.

One key word I would like to use is Authentic. Anybody can throw together a party/concert for the community and give away free stuff and have cool celebrity speakers. But if the church isn’t equipped to welcome any of those same neighbors to service on Sunday morning, then we may be just in it for the show and millennials are able to see right through that. Millennials value authenticity. They know that Jesus Christ’s platform was rooted in and fueled by it as he spent time with people from all walks of life. So, if we want millennials to tune in to what the church is doing, we can’t just talk “making the world a better place,” we must do it. For real.

Millennials are the most socially aware generation for a reason, and they’ll stick around if we’re serious about investing our time, money, and influence. There is hope.