2. Outward Focus on Loving the City
Millennials are not just open to being outward toward the world around them; they are also open to the possibility of failure. Unlike most, they are willing to take the risk.
Possible failure isn’t something we naturally embrace at any age, but the younger we are, the less we are concerned with it. No matter the typical age of a congregation, if we hope to reach Millennials we need to take more risks. The tendency of established churches is to avoid danger in the least.
Risk-averse churches will fail to draw the majority of Millennials. On the other hand, those that are willing to take a chance at possible failure are the ones that this generation will be magnetic to them.
Congregations that insist on playing it safe are the least likely to tinker with what they already have in place – what feels safe.
- Their image
It doesn’t have to be that way forever. We can change to become a church that draws Millennials.
- By investing money with less regard for what might happen
- By talking/teaching about it without it bearing fruit
- By recruiting many in the congregation
- By training leaders who join up but don’t stick with it
- By the current leaders begin to do what they want the rest of the flock to do
- By being willing to look possibly dumb by the critics
To begin to reach regularly out a congregation needs simple and realistic tools that will allow them to get to work. Anyone wants to see a return from the seed they plant. Mainly they just need practical tools that will enable them to get to work.
An easy outreach project to begin with that is likely to succeed is the “One-dollar Carwash.”
- Set up some sign holders/cheerleaders to draw cars.
- Go to the trouble of getting professional vinyl signs – you will communicate excellence. In future outreaches, they will still look great.
- Have an array of washers to do different parts of the car. The introverts don’t need to risk talking to drivers. We can do that by walking through some new doors. Put a couple of enthused, friendly outgoing people who find it easy to connect with drivers.
- Put a “Designated Evangelist” in place to explain what you are doing. When they go to pay for the wash, tell them, “Oh, you don’t understand. We pay you for the privilege of serving you with this.”
I often ask if I can pray for them for ten seconds. Of the hundreds I have offered a prayer to, only two have turned me down so far. That shows a bit of the spiritual hunger of most people. Sometimes people tear up. Of course, we get questions. The three most common are: “Where do you meet?”, “Do you have something for kids?” and, most telling, “How long do your services last?” (Gulp!) Most can’t imagine giving more than an hour to service.