This past weekend I went to meet up with His Girls Gather, a group of authors, bloggers, speakers, social media marketing and technical support girls from Texas and Louisana. Many of us are members of Compel, a writer’s training program which is part of Proverbs 31 Ministries.
We had a wonderful time of prayer, fellowship, and training. While I was there I met an adorable millennial Jesus girl named Shelby Howe. We struck up a conversation about how to impact the millennial culture for Jesus.
Many faith communities and Christian organizations are struggling with how to make space for Millennials—not just appealing space in their buildings and gathering places, but also space in their institutional culture, ministry models and leadership approach. – Barna
If we want to impact future generations for Christ then we need to know how to reach them. I have asked Shelby Howe to share her thoughts with you on today’s blog concerning what the Lord has put on her heart in regards to reaching millennials.
10 ways to reach Millennials
We’re a generation connected in all the wrong places. Consumed with what’s happening on a screen, the majority of millennials miss the richness of real life. Being one of them, and living the struggle of screen-time versus face-time, I’ve often been asked – how do you reach millennials? What gets us off our phones and listening intently to the person before us? I hope it’s to your delight to know it’s not another piece of tech or a silly video.
- Speak my language
When my phone rings, I automatically think something’s wrong. Phone calls are for dire situations, just send me a text. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Once I forget what you told me, I can go back and read it again. Friend me on Facebook, follow my Instagram, that’s where you can keep up with what’s going on with me. Speak my language.
- Meet me on my terms
Unfortunately, I struggle with accountability so if we’re going to meet face to face, it’s got to be on my terms. Be prepared to cancel and reschedule ten times before we actually meet. Once I know that you’re committed, I’ll get committed too, but I need grace at first.
- Don’t ask me what I’m doing, ask me what I want to do.
The first thing people always ask is, “So what do you do?” What I’m doing right now is not what I want to be doing, and it just reminds me of that when you ask. Start with “What do you want to do with your life?” then follow up with “So what are you doing now?” This tells me that you care about my dreams, but it’s okay that I’m not there yet.
- Don’t tell me what I should do unless you’re going to help me.
I don’t respond well to “you should do this” or “have you tried this?” Someone has probably already suggested that and I probably have some lame excuse you don’t want to hear anyway. If you think of something that I should do, help me do it. If I need to study for a certain test, schedule a time to study with me. If I need to make a resume, sit down with me and show me how which leads to our next one…
- Show me instead of telling me.
It’s one thing to throw words at me just for them to bounce off the rim like basketball, but if you actually practice what you preach, I’ll take notice. If you want me to read the Bible, let me see you living it. I’m a newlywed, and I want to cook made-from-scratch meals for my husband, but I don’t know how. Invite me over one day and show me how you make homemade biscuits. I need to see it. Let me see you do real life and I’ll want to live it with you.
- Be consistent.
My world is fast paced and ever changing, having a constant helps keep me grounded. If I know when you’re available, I’m more likely to turn to you. When you respond quickly to my call for help, I’ll remember. The next time I’m in a sticky situation, I’ll crave that relief and look to you. Then, hopefully, I’ll work to avoid sticky situations.
- Hold me accountable.
Remember when I said I struggle with accountability? Once I’ve seen that you’re consistent, I’ll answer your call for accountability. The next time I cancel or reschedule our meetup, I’ll care about your frustration, and it won’t make me feel good. Give me some time to get to this point, but hold me accountable for my actions.
- Be real, transparent, honest.
Talk is cheap, and I know it. I don’t sugarcoat things, and I don’t want things sugarcoated. If you’re upset with me, let me know why. If you’re having issues with something in your own life, don’t hide it from me. I need to see you solve problems, so I know what to do when I face them.
- Cover me in prayer.
I’m probably not doing this for myself so cover me in prayer. Pray with me before we eat or when we’re talking about a hard situation. Let me see and hear you pray so I can take note. Pray for me until I know how to pray for myself.
- Don’t give up on me.
Please, please, please don’t give up on me. If you give up on me, I give up on me. Speak life to me, encourage me at my lowest point, reach out your hand when I’ve fallen down. I will fall, time and time again. I will let you down. Love me anyway. Show me, Jesus.
The overarching theme here is love. Love me like Jesus. I’m not so different from his followers when you think about it. Learn my love language and speak it back to me. Walk the hard road with me, and I’ll meet you on the other side. But most of all… Love me like Jesus.
Hey, Y’all! Just another Millennial here and one southern raised, Bible-believing Christian. The soil I call home is in Shreveport, Louisiana. I know the love of a good family but was transformed by the love of a Savior. The love I receive from him I try to duplicate to others. A passion for God’s word and advancing his kingdom is what compels me to write. Growing in the knowledge of Him is what I hope you, and I accomplish. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter: Shelby’s Twitter
Please like and share this post if it ministers to you, and make sure to visit Shelby on her social media channels. I would love to hear if you have other ideas about how to reach millennials for Christ. Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts.