Why You Need to Be Yourself When Marketing to Millennials

Earlier this week, I posted an article about Hilary Clinton’s tweet that offended Millennials and how the church can learn from her mistake.

Here is a new article that while focusing on marketing can reveal how churches often drive Millennials away.

Authenticity is a buzzword – especially among churches.

Yet the meaning is different for Millennials that other generations (Read more HERE).

If you are seeking Millennials, it is crucial to be true to yourself.  As I reflected on how churches attempt to appeal to Millennials in inauthentic ways, here are a few questions that came to mind.

1.  Do you claim to be non-denominational, and yet have clear ties and restricted beliefs for your community?

2.  Do you claim diversity, and yet have none?  (For example, when using “Stock” photos, do you accurately represent your community?)

3.  Do you claim to be earth-friendly, and yet don’t recycle?  I know of two large churches in my community who actually put out recycling containers to appear eco-friendly, and yet were unwilling to pay for recycling (and they were throwing the recyclables in the garbage).

4.  Do you claim to empower women and yet don’t have any in leadership?

I do not believe that you have to change your communities policies in these areas; however, you should accurately display them.

The main point of the article is that we should truly express our community’s set of beliefs (rather than hiding – or using a “bait and switch” technique).  While these beliefs may turn away some people, they will help others find a place where they belong.

David Boyd 1 (1)Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.  If he can assist your community to reach Millennials, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.


The Connecting Church – Book Review

Connecting churchHave you ever tried attending a small group, only to find it didn’t provide the Community that you longed for?

The one act in the Creation record that is not labeled as good is that man was alone.  God created us to have community with Him and one another.  According to Frazee, “People need to be involved in meaningful and constant community or they will continue on indefinitely in a state of intense loneliness.”  (Frazee)

Frazee points out that America’s obsession with independence often keeps them from seeking the community that the need.  It is essential for the individual to be able to develop a community in order sustain healthy adulthood.  Frazee says, “I would suggest that one of the major obstacles to community is America is that we don’t need each other anymore.  We are independent people. …  Sadly, when a person becomes independent of others, they get the loneliness and isolation that accompany it as well.”  (Frazee)

Here a few of Frazee points that I believe are worth noting.

Beyond Small Group Ministry

Many churches advertise that people will find community in a small group, but they might as well be selling snake oil.  Hopeful of finding authentic community, many people leave a small-group feeling disillusioned and frustrated.  The purpose of small groups is not small groups.  The purpose is to achieve, “The development of meaningful relationships where every member carries a significant sense of belonging [which] is central to what it means to be the church.  (Frazee)  We must remember that our goal is authentic community, and I believe Frazee’s book gives great direction to individuals and churches to reach that goal.

Simplify Church

Frazee is not a fan of complex, program-driven churches.  “This will require that the church not develop competing activities or functions at the church but rather allow the small group members to simplify their church lives by means of this one group.” (Frazee)  One reason is because they are not looking for more activities, EA are looking for people to share the simple pleasure of life – eating, playing, and talking.  They will not have time to do life together if they are always running to support church functions.

Breaking Down Walls between the Generationsintergenerational

My favorite points by Frazee is his desire to see multi-generational relationships within the church.  He says, “Many church leaders still believe that the most effective grouping of people is centered around the sharing of a common life-stage experience.”  (Frazee) I am glad that this mindset is beginning to be questioned, and in some brave churches it is being destroyed.  He goes on to state, “The life-stage mind-set is so ingrained that it has a powerful effect both on the youngest members of our community as well as the oldest.  As our children grow up, many are not comfortable in relating to people of other ages.”   (Frazee)

Could their inability to relate to other age groups be a reason why some leave the church?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Frazee’s book because it reminded me of my own longings of authentic community- an ever-changing game of catch and release.