How to Reach Young Adults in Church: 7 Effective Tips

How to Reach Young Adults in Church

Figuring out how to reach young adults in church can be challenging, but it is also an opportunity to engage and connect with the next generation of faith leaders. With the right approach and tools, your church can be a place where young people feel seen, heard, and valued and where they can grow and develop in their faith.

This post will explore the 7 most effective ways to reach young people in the church, including community outreach, personal invitations, and mentorship programs.

7 WAYS TO REACH YOUNG ADULTS IN CHURCH –

Ways to reach young adults in the church include providing relevant and engaging worship services, small group studies, community outreach and service opportunities, social events and activities, technology, personal invitations, and mentorship programs.

In the next few sections, we will dive into how you can make each of these strategies work for you.

Relevant and Engaging Worship Services:

One of the most important activities in the church is the worship service. Most people can read their bibles at home and listen to sermons online, but they come to church because they want to be an active part of the worship service.

During worship services, churches gather to praise and honor God through songs, reading sacred texts, offerings, prayers, ceremonies, sermons, and participating in sacraments.

The purpose of worship is to express devotion, thanksgiving, and reverence while providing a sense of community and connection to others who share our beliefs.

For Christians, worship is often led by a priest or pastor. But there are other churches or prayer houses that are led by ministers, rabbis, or other religious leaders.

To reach young adults who are in your church, you need to allow them to feel included.

To Use Worship to

  • Offer interactive services that are relevant to their interests and needs.
  • Consider incorporating popular and modern music styles into the worship service.
  • Make use of technology, such as video, lighting, and sound systems, to enhance the worship experience.
  • Be inclusive in your preaching by focusing on relevant topics to young adults, such as relationships, finances, careers, and personal growth.
  • Depending on the size of your church, you can use multimedia presentations, such as videos and slideshows, to illustrate points made during the preaching and to keep the audience engaged.
  • Allow young adults to feel included by choosing relevant themes for the worship services that are relevant to the lives of young adults, such as mental health, technology, and social issues.
  • Encourage young adults to participate in the worship service by leading prayers, singing in the choir, and serving as greeters or ushers.
  • Make sure the worship environment is welcoming, relaxed, and open to all people, regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs. Feeling unwelcome is one of the main reasons young adults leave the church.

Small Group Studies:

Mass or church service shouldn’t be where your interaction ends for young adults. Create small groups that foster spiritual growth and relationships and encourage young adults to participate.

Small group studies, also known as small group Bible studies or small group ministry, are a form of Christian education and discipleship in a small, informal setting. They typically involve a small group of people, usually 5 to 15 individuals, who come together regularly to study the Bible, pray, and discuss topics related to their faith.

Small group studies provide a supportive and interactive environment for individuals to deepen their relationship with God and each other and grow in their understanding of the Bible and their faith. A trained leader or facilitator usually leads small group studies. But you can switch it up and have young adults taking turns leading the discussions.

How to Use Small Groups to Reach Young Adults in the Church

Here are some effective tips for making small group studies appealing to young adults:

  • Make Sure the Topics are Relevant

Choose topics relevant to young adults’ interests and concerns, such as relationships, finances, careers, and personal growth.

  • Keep Interactions Interactive

Encourage group members to engage in interactive discussions, share their perspectives and experiences, and ask questions.

  • Encourage Authenticity and Vulnerability

Encourage group members to be authentic and vulnerable in their discussions. This creates a safe and supportive environment where people can grow and connect with each other.

  • Assign Group Leaders Who Connect

Some people are better than others at engaging and connecting with all personalities. Find individuals to lead small groups who are good at connecting with young adults and have the ability to facilitate engaging and meaningful discussions.

  • Use Technology

Young people are always making use of technology. It is what they understand as they exist in an automated world. Put technology to work for you; this will make young adults feel at home. If you are not good at technology, this is an opportunity to invite young adults to take oversee this function in your church.

Don’t stop at video conferencing and presentations. Put technology to work for you in every avenue that you can, such as creating an online discussion forum and social media to reach and engage young adults who cannot attend in-person meetings.

  • Build Relationships

Encourage group members to build relationships with each other inside and outside the small group setting.

  • Be Flexible

Offer small group studies at different times and locations to accommodate different schedules and preferences.

  • Keep Small Groups Relevant to Worship Services

Consider tying small group studies to themes or topics covered in the worship services so that young adults can deepen their understanding and connection to their faith.

how to reach young people in church

Community Outreach and Service Opportunities:

Community outreach and service opportunities can be a great way to reach young adults in a church setting.

Offer opportunities for young adults to serve their communities and meet others who share their values. Most individuals love to give back to their communities, many of which are young adults and may already be members of your church.

You will accomplish three things at once by providing community outreach and service opportunities to your church. You will reach the young adults in your church, create an opportunity for young adults to get involved in the community and help address the community’s problems.

How to Use Community Outreach and Service Opportunities to Reach Young Adults in the Church?

  • Get involved in Community Service Programs that Have Relevance to Young Adult’s Interests

Choose service projects that align with the interests and passions of young adults, such as environmental conservation, homelessness, poverty, or education.

  • Offer Hands-On Experience

Offer hands-on experiences where young adults can actively serve their communities, such as volunteering at a local food bank, helping to build a community garden, building or cleaning a home, picking up trash at the beach, or tutoring students.

  • Collaboration with Other Organizations

Partner with other organizations and community groups to offer a broader range of service opportunities and to make a more significant impact in the community. Clubs such as the Rotary club, Kiwanis, etc., have programs that are geared toward helping the community. For instance, the Rotary club builds ramps for disabled individuals in the community. Habitat for Humanity is another such club, they help improve homes for individuals.

  • Team Building

Encourage young adults to work together in teams on service projects, as this can help build relationships and foster a sense of community within the church.

  • Be Flexible

Offer service opportunities at different times and locations to accommodate different schedules and preferences.

  • Reflection and Discussion

Encourage young adults to reflect on their service experiences and to discuss their thoughts and feelings with each other.

  • Spiritual Connection

Help young adults see the connection between their service to others and their faith by incorporating spiritual elements such as prayer, devotions, or scripture reading into the service activities.

  • Recognition and Appreciation

Show appreciation and recognition to young adults for their service. This can help build a sense of pride and fulfillment and encourage them to continue serving in the future.

Social Events and Activities:

Organize events and activities that are fun and appealing to young adults.

How can they be reached through social events and activities

Social events and activities can effectively reach and engage young adults in the church. Here are some tips for making social events and activities appealing to young adults:

  • Relevance to Interests

Choose social events and activities that align with the interests and passions of young adults, such as sports, music, art, food, or outdoor activities.

  • Interactive and Engaging

Plan events encouraging interaction and engagement, such as game nights, trivia quizzes, or cooking classes.

  • Collaboration with Other Organizations

Partner with other organizations and community groups to offer a broader range of social events and activities and make a bigger community impact.

  • Team Building

Encourage young adults to participate in team-building activities, as this can help build relationships and foster a sense of community within the church.

  • Reflection and Discussion

Encourage young adults to reflect on their experiences and discuss their thoughts and feelings with each other.

  • Spiritual Connection

Help young adults see the connection between their social activities and their faith by incorporating spiritual elements such as prayer, devotions, or scripture reading into the events.

  • Recognition and Appreciation

Show appreciation and recognition to young adults for participating in social events and activities. This can help build a sense of pride and fulfillment and encourage them to continue participating in the future.

Technology:

Even though we touched upon this topic above, technology is so important, it deserves to be discussed in depth.

How can the church reach them with technology?

Technology can be a powerful tool for reaching young adults in any church setting.

Below are Tips for Using Technology to Reach and Engage Young Adults in the church

  • Build an Online Presence

If you don’t already have one, build a presence online, it is expected. Establish a solid online presence by creating a website, social media accounts, and other digital platforms that young adults can access to learn more about the church, its events and activities, and its message.

  • Streaming Services

During the pandemic of 2020, many churches could keep services going because of live-streaming.

Live-streamed or recorded worship services allow young adults who cannot physically attend to participate from anywhere. It is also a great way to get them to sample your church and see if they want to be part of your community.

mentoring youth in the church
  • Interactive Platforms

Use interactive platforms such as video conferencing, instant messaging, or forums to facilitate communication and interaction between young adults and church leaders. Encourage them to ask you questions about their faith through this platform. This way, you can interact with and get to know them better, and they you.

  • Mobile Apps

It is easy to find someone to develop a mobile app for your church, making it more convenient to share resources. Develop a mobile app for the church that young adults can use to access information, resources, and events from their smartphones or tablets.

  • Virtual Events

Plan virtual events and activities such as online game nights, trivia quizzes, or cooking classes that young adults can participate in from home.

  • Social Media

Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach young adults where they spend much of their time. Share engaging content, connect with them, and encourage them to share their experiences and perspectives.

  • Personalized Communication

Use technology to send personalized communications to young adults, such as text messages, emails, or push notifications, to keep them informed and engaged with the church.

  • Analytics

Use analytics tools to track and measure technology-based outreach efforts’ impact to improve and optimize the church’s online presence and digital communications.

Utilizing social media, texting, and online streaming to reach out to young adults and share information about church events and activities should keep them engaged and informed of what your church is doing.

Personal Invitations:

Encourage church members to contact young adults and personally invite them to events and activities.

Why Personal Invitations Are Effective

Who doesn’t want to receive a personal invitation to an event?

Personal invitations can effectively reach and engage young adults in church because they provide an emotional connection and a sense of community. Below are some reasons why personal invitations can be effective.

  • They Build Relationships

Personal invitations help to build relationships and foster a sense of community between young adults and the church. They offer a personal touch that can make young adults feel welcomed, valued, and included.

  • It Creates Trust

Personal invitations from someone the young adult knows, and beliefs can help to build trust and establish a relationship between the young adult and the church.

  • Make it Relevant

Personal invitations can be tailored to the individual needs and interests of the young adult, making them more relevant and appealing. Personal invitations provide a level of personalization that cannot be achieved through other forms of outreach, such as advertisements or mass communications.

  • Invitation to Participate

Personal invitations offer a specific invitation to participate in a church event or activity, making it more likely that the young adult will attend.

  • Follow-Up

Personal invitations can be followed up with additional conversations or interactions, which can help to establish a deeper connection between the young adult and the church. Take advantage of this, and make sure to follow up. This also tells the young adult that you are truly interested in their presence at your event.

  • Accountability

Personal invitations can help to establish accountability and encourage follow-through, as young adults may feel more obligated to attend if they have been personally invited by someone they know.

Overall, personal invitations can provide a more personal, relevant, and engaging way to reach young adults in a church setting and help build relationships, foster a sense of community, and encourage participation and engagement.

How to Use Personal Invitations to Reach Young Adults

Here are some tips for using personal invitations to reach and engage young adults in a church setting

  • Targeted Outreach

Identify the young adults you want to reach and focus your invitations on them. This could include people in your community, friends, family members, or people you meet through community outreach or service opportunities.

  • Be Specific

Churches are likely to have a lot of events planned. Try to invite young adults to specific events and not use this opportunity as a blanket invitation to everything the church is doing. B specific about the event or activity you invite the young adult to attend and provide details such as the date, time, location, and purpose.

  • Offer Help

Offer to help with transportation, childcare, or any other needs the young adult may have to make attending the event or activity more accessible and appealing. I will also show that you care about your members.

  • Follow Up After the Activity or Event

We mentioned above that you should follow up on your invitation to ensure it was received and remind the young adult to attend. Y should also follow up with the young adult after the event or activity to thank them for their attendance and to continue the conversation and relationship.

  • Make the Invitation Personal

If you can, take the time to personalize the invitation. Everyone loves to receive handwritten invites or invites addressed to their name or a note that tells them this is especially intended for them. Make the invitation as personal as possible by hand-writing it, including a personal note, or using a unique delivery method such as a video message or voice recording.

  • Encourage Sharing

When coming to events, most people want to know if they can bring a friend. Encourage the young adult to share the invitation with others, as this can help to expand your reach and increase participation in the event or activity.

  • Track Progress:

Keep track of your personal invitations and follow-up interactions, and use this information to improve and optimize your outreach efforts continually.

Using personal invitations, you can build relationships, foster a sense of community with young adults, and encourage them to participate in events and activities in your church. Personal invitations can also help establish a personal connection and build trust, leading to deeper engagement and involvement in the church community over time.

Mentorship Programs:

Offer mentorship programs where young adults can connect with older church members for guidance and support.

How is Mentorship a Powerful Tool for Young People

Mentorship can be a powerful tool for young people for several reasons:

  • Personal Development

Mentorship can help young people develop their skills, abilities, and knowledge in a specific area or field and provide guidance and support as they navigate the challenges of growing up.

  • Role Model

A mentor can serve as a role model and positively influence a young person’s life, showing them what is possible and inspiring them to strive for their own goals and aspirations.

  • Encouragement and Support

Mentors can provide encouragement, support, and a listening ear when young people need it, helping them to feel seen and heard and building their self-esteem and confidence.

  • Spiritual Guidance

Mentors can offer spiritual guidance and advice on career paths and job opportunities, helping young people to make informed decisions about their future. They can also be the bridge between church leaders and the youth. Where they identify problems they cannot help with, they can refer the mentees to the church leaders for advice.

  • Networking Opportunities

Mentors can provide networking opportunities and introduce young people to others in their field or industry, helping them to build valuable connections and relationships. They can also be a good source for resources such as letters of recommendation and references to help young people with their careers. The youth are aware of this, which makes mentorships an attractive tool.

  • Life Skills

Beyond spirituality, mentors can also help young people develop skills such as problem-solving, communication, and decision-making, which can be valuable in their personal and professional lives.

  • Personal Growth

Mentorship can provide a safe space for young people to explore their thoughts and feelings and grow as individuals, helping them to become more self-aware and confident in who they are and what they want to achieve.

Overall, mentorship can have a powerful impact on young people, providing them with guidance, support, and opportunities for personal and professional growth and helping them to navigate the challenges of growing up and making their way in the world.

how to reach the youth

How Can Mentorship Reach Young Adults in the Church

Many older people are interested in helping young adults with their issues and, therefore, are willing volunteers for mentorship programs in the church. This is a huge attraction for young adults as working with mentors allows them to advance their spiritual lives and careers concurrently.

  • Establish a Mentorship Program

Establish a mentorship program within the church, matching young adults with experienced and knowledgeable individuals who can serve as mentors.

  • Focus on Interests and Passions

Focus the mentorship program on the interests and passions of young adults, matching them with mentors with expertise or experience in these areas.

  • Training and Support

Provide training and support for both mentors and mentees to help ensure a successful mentorship experience for both parties.

  • Encourage Relationships

Encourage mentors and mentees to build relationships and connect personally, helping to establish a sense of community and belonging within the church.

  • Offer Opportunities for Growth

Offer opportunities for mentees to grow and develop their skills, abilities, and knowledge through the mentorship program, such as workshops, events, or projects.

  • Celebrate Successes

Celebrate the successes and accomplishments of mentees, and encourage mentors to share their experiences and insights with others in the church community.

  • Create a Community of Mentors and Mentees

Create a community of mentors and mentees within the church, helping to build relationships and foster a sense of belonging and support.

By using mentors to reach young adults in the church, you can provide a supportive and engaging environment where young people can grow and develop their skills and abilities and build meaningful relationships with others in the church community. Mentorship can also help establish a sense of purpose and direction and provide young adults with the guidance and support they need to navigate the challenges of growing up and making their way in the world.

A Few Final Words

In conclusion, reaching young people in the church requires combining intentional efforts and creative approaches. Whether through community outreach, social events, activities, or mentorship programs, the key is creating a welcoming and supportive environment where young people feel valued and empowered to grow in their faith. By embracing this demographic’s unique needs and interests, your church can build meaningful relationships with young people and help them develop a deeper and more meaningful connection to their faith. Remember, investing in the next generation of faith leaders is suitable for your church’s future and essential for the growth and well-being of the young people themselves.

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Christine Udeani, JD
Christine Udeani, JD

Christine is a dedicated mother of six young adults and a teenager who has made significant contributions to the online world through her writing and entrepreneurship. She attended Northwestern University, Strayer University, Thomas M Cooley School of Law, NWCULAW, and holds degrees in business, Law, and Communications. She shares tips and experiences to help young adults and their parents with this generation’s issues.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

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