The truth is your mission is sacred but your method (your strategy, your approach, your plan) is not sacred. Sometimes we get that confused. Your plan can and should change at times. The culture continues to change. The church needs to change too. Below are a few points to consider:
1. Online is here to stay.
You used to have to go to church to hear a message or music, or get the cassette or cd. Now you just need a phone. Every attender can (and often will) listen to any communicator, band or concert they want. And almost everyone who shows up at your door has checked out your church online before they came. What are you doing to embrace the online world beyond a barely-supported and moderately outdated website, podcast or Facebook page?
2. Wifi and Smartphones are here to stay.
They are googling you while you’re speaking, and checking out other options while you’re listing yours. Do you assume your audience is intelligent, literate and has options?
3. Interaction is a must.
People really want to talk, not just listen. While sitting around tables every Sunday may not be the answer, increasingly a church without conversation is a church without converts. What scalable, meaningful venues do you have for people to go to online and in-house for real conversation?
4. Guilt needs to go.
Guilt used to motivate people to change and even to come to faith. The next generation feels less guilt than almost any previous generation. Are you still using guilt to motivate people? (By the way, Jesus never used guilt to motivate outsiders.)
5. They don’t trust you.
Don’t take it personally; people will still trust authority when the authority has earned their confidence. But they start out with suspicion. More than ever, trust is earned slowly and lost instantly. How is the way you exercise authority worthy of people’s confidence?
6. They don’t trust churches.
You have to show people how an organization can help them, because by default, they don’t think it/you can or will. How are you demonstrating trustworthiness?
7. They want to know your vision.
Millennials will not stay long at work or causes that have little greater meaning or purpose. Is your mission and vision clear, compelling and inexhaustible?
8. Can you add value?
From charity runs to starting non-profits from home, the next generation not only believes they can have a global impact, many are having it. If your church doesn’t have a burning sense of purpose and vision, you look lame compared to the average 24 year old. How is your vision motivating and adding value to people who have vision?
9. People look for reviews.
What you say about your organization matters less than what others say. People place far more trust in user reviews than advertising copy. What are others saying about your organization and how would people find that out?
10. R.I.P. – Cash and Checks are dead.
When was the last time you wrote a check or paid $500 cash for something? No one does that anymore. But every Sunday most church leaders expect most of their offering to come in via cash or check. Is most of your giving happening online? Why not?