America is in the midst of a generational sea change. Baby Boomers are no longer the nation’s largest generational cohort. Instead, Millennials are.
Unfortunately, Millennials are the least religious generational cohort in our nation’s history. If the Church wants to reach Millennials, it cannot rely on strategies that worked with Boomers. The generations are simply too different.
In today’s episode, Influencemagazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Geoff Surratt about five tensions churches must manage to successfully engage Millennials.
Together with his wife, Sherry, Geoff is the founder of Ministry Together, which “partners with “ministry leaders for relational health, organizational growth and Kingdom impact.” He is also author of the free e-book, The Church Will Thrive.
Roughly half the U.S. population is male, but fewer men attend church on average than women do. In the Assemblies of God, for example, the latest statistics indicate that men account for 31.5 percent of Sunday morning attendees, while women account for 40.4 percent. This gap in attendance reveals a ministry opportunity.
Earlier this year, Michael Zigarelli — professor of Leadership and Strategy at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania — conducted a qualitative survey of seven Protestant churches with greater parity in attendance between men and women. His working paper, “Churches that Attract Men,” identified transferable principles of man-friendly churches and is the springboard for today’s Influence Podcast conversation between him and me.
Topics of conversation include why attracting men is a good church-growth strategy and what man-friendly churches have in common. But Zigarelli also addresses “pushback questions”: Why are we talking about man-friendly churches in a culture that’s talking about “toxic masculinity”? Does being man-friendly trade on shopworn gender stereotypes or complementarian views of church leadership? And does attracting men create a void of ministry to women and children?
It’s an interesting, informative conversation, so make sure to listen to the entire thing!
“Institutions matter,” writes Gordon T. Smith. “Vibrant institutions—effective organizations—are essential to our personal lives and to the common good.” Institutional Intelligenceidentifies seven elements of such organizations: mission clarity, appropriate governance, quality personnel, vibrant culture, financial resilience, generative built spaces and strategic alliances. Smith shows Christian leaders how to implement these elements in their organizations. In a day when public trust in institutions, including churches, is low, this book offers a hopeful, helpful view of trustworthy institutions that contribute to human flourishing.
Gordon T. Smith, Institutional Intelligence: How to Build an Effective Organization(Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2017).