Millennials spend an alarming 18 hours a day consuming media. They are engaged online in a whole new way. What does this mean for the church? What does it mean for your youth ministry? Young adults ministry?
We need to engage millennials online, and in real relationships. Don Tapscott said, ” “These kids are different, and they’re about to change the world.”, “This is the first generation of people that work, play, think and learn differently than their parents, … They are the first generation to not be afraid of technology. It’s like the air to them.” Technology will be the air we breathe for the indefinite future. It’s going to change the way we do youth ministry, and church.
Here are few things that stand out to me from this infographic on the millennials:
1. 5.4 hours per day on social media. Where are you spending time? One of the best ways to spend time trying to reach students, and communicate to students is through social media accounts. You might think this is obvious, but what is your strategy while you are there?
Last year, my youth ministry decided to run a photo booth on a certain night and we posted the photos on our Facebook page so that students could download them. We also printed them off for them to take home. Our Facebook page blew up(We actually called the blog post, How To Blow Up Your Facebook Page). One of the things the photo booth did that I wasn’t expecting was to promo our youth ministry to other teenagers in town virally.
A week later we had a student message us from a town away asking if he could come to our youth group. He said in the message that he saw his friends at our youth group and it looked awesome. He showed up the next week.
You have to be intentional how you post on your social media accounts. Whats your youth ministry look? Whats your logo?
2. Check smart phones on average 43 times per day. What is your strategy for texting out messages to leaders, parents, students? There are tons of programs that will do this. Trust me, you don’t want to be using your iPhone with a group message. Nothing is worse than a group message.
You can find some awesome text message options for your youth ministry here.
I feel like a broken record when I say that buying a texting program was the best thing I have done in the past 5 years.
3. They multitask. To be honest, sometimes I feel like the students aren’t listening. When I am preaching, or someone else is, everyone is on their devices. Are they listening?
A few weeks ago I had a leader ask me why the students today are so disrespectful. I shared a story with this leader on how I watch shows at home. I usually am watching a phone with my iPad around, or working on something for this website or for work. A lot of times my wife will ask me if I am paying attention or not. I am. I am just multitasking. I am doing multiple things at once. So, I asked the leader what the difference was between me and the students on their phones on a youth night?
I don’t think it’s great for our students to be on their phones all night. One thing we try to value is face to face conversations and relationships. My small group has decided to put their phones away each night when we come together, and now that the grade 8 boys have committed to it, they police it themselves.
This culture is ever changing, and the students we are working with are more digitally connected than ever before. This is going to require us to help each other to reach more students, and to preach the word faithfully to this and the next generations of students.