Build a strong sense of community "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20)
It's no secret that church attendance among youth is at an all-time low. It's also no secret that a church can't expect to survive for very long if its younger generation stops attending. The good news is that young people, though they may be disappearing from pews, haven't entirely lost their need for a sense of spiritual community. Their desire to be a part of the church often just needs a bit of a kick start. Here are five ways that you can get more young people involved in your church:
1) Consider your online presence
Today's youth get almost all of their information from online sources, and so it is a good idea to have an informative website and perhaps even a Facebook page. There's no need to be flashy or to splurge on professional graphics. Just make sure that all of the information is presented in a clear and accessible manner.
2) Don't aim to be too "hip" or "cool"
Young people aren't necessarily looking for a church that makes use of all the latest trends and technology. In fact, many are drawn to more traditional services. Making radical changes to your church layout or service may actually backfire and be seen by youth as "inauthentic" or "trying too hard."
3) Build a strong sense of community
"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20)
This spiritually encouraging quote from the Bible perfectly describes how important a sense of community is for the Christian faith. God is always with us, even when we are alone, but His presence can be felt more strongly when a group of people gather in His name. Almost everyone, especially when they are young, feels the need to be a part of a spiritually focused community.
4) Make an effort to include youth in the service
If you want to fill the pews with young people, then you should look for ways to include them in the service. Have them serve as greeters, read scripture, take part in musical performances, work with the audio or visual systems, or gather the offering. All of these tasks can make young people feel like an integral part of the church.
5) Most importantly, make sure youth feel respected in your church
Though keeping the four points above in mind can definitely help raise youth church attendance, you are ultimately going to have to do whatever works right for your church depending on your unique circumstances. No matter what goals or programs you choose to implement, the most important component of getting young people involved in your church is to make sure you treat them and their views with respect.
Young people today have many unique views on faith and religion. Accepting them and incorporating them into your church might shake things up a little, but there is no reason to be afraid of change. In fact, new life and new ideas is often exactly what a congregation needs.