Why churches don’t have young people

By March 28, 2012Culture, Faith

Our good friend Will Mancini had a wonderful post this week based on questions he often gets from churches about how to reach younger generations. The post begins as Will states a core principle:

Generational relevance is always a leadership issue first. Because the gift of leadership naturally develops leaders in its wake, a lack of presence with the next generation is a lack of leadership in some way. The implications are:

  • Leaders beget younger leaders
  • Those leaders and churches who reach young people aren’t thinking about it as much as it is happening naturally
  • The more conscious you are of the problem of reaching younger people, there is a leadership issue to identify
  • Younger people are primarily reached by younger leaders
  • If you don’t have young leaders, you don’t have old leaders

Based on these implications, Will spells out five strategies that churches can choose to reach young people. They are well worth your time and consideration.

Do you agree with what Will says about generational relevance and leadership? If so, what strategies have you found to address this issue? Let’s discuss it in the comments below.

By the way, Will is a clarity evangelist who helps churches and non-profits discern what their vision is. Wayfarer went through the process, and it has been invaluable for us. We encourage you to check out Will’s ministry called Auxano or to read his book Church Unique. His resources are well worth your time.


About Robert Neely


  • combs.alan@gmail.com' changeinview says:

    Agreed. Unfortunately, there are a lot of pastors out there who don’t get this and believe they have to continue doing the same things they have always done. Best strategy I can think of is…change. You don’t have to change the message, just make it relevant to the target audience. Paul did it all the time. However, if churches refuse to change they will get sucked into the trap and lose many if not all its young leaders.

  • xaris4u@yahoo.com' JS BOEGL says:

    After more than 30 years of deep leadership involvement in the evangelical church, I believe young adults are hungry for a Church expression that encounters the “always transcendent God” with the depth of intimacy and intrigue that the human soul craves. Too often, what young people reject are our Church culture’s shallow, superficial encounters with a “tame God” that are tragically replete with authoritarian manipulation and systematic domestication. What chameleon evangelicalism needs most are New Testament communities and leaders with vibrant, humble hearts in determined pursuit of the God of three-hundred-billion galaxies; intent on being filled with the (Ezekiel 37:10 and John 20:22) breath of that God.

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