Have you seen a church that looks like this?
Do you notice the imbalance between the left and right sides of the graph? Relative to our community, we’re doing well reaching the older generation. At the same time, we’re doing poorly, again relative to their number in our community, at reaching people under 45. Considering how our children and youth were counter – and the progress we’ve made since last spring when this data was collected – I think we’re a bit better at the extreme left side now. When we had our Children’s Sabbath in October we counted up all the children and youth connected with the church and came to around 100.
Our biggest weakness now seems to be in reaching – and keeping – people aged 20 through 44. I don’t think we can make progress on this by just doing more of the same. Here are some basics.
1. Stop blaming them for not coming, for not being drawn by the same things that drew the folks that are already here.
2. Talk to them. When we talk to them and become friends with them, they become more than a demographic segment.
3. Love them unconditionally.
4. Go where they are. Once upon a time “If you build it, they will come” might have worked for churches. I don’t see the edifice or program strategy working well lately.
5. Pray. We need God to work on our hearts and shape our lives in such a way that people will be attracted to Jesus.