I don’t know how to get millenials (and other generations younger than mine) into church. The reason is simple: I’m past 60 years old.
I hear frequent complaints about the failing of the current (or other intervening) generation. Is it possible, however, that they’re just as smart as or as good as my generation (or even smarter and better), but they’re not willing to put up with doing something just because it has been done before.
I actually love Sunday mornings and going to Sunday School and church. It’s part of getting myself ready for another week. But it is very much like it has been for decades. I can’t point out too many differences between the service I attended today and one I would have attended when I was in my late teens and early twenties.
Church people respond, “But it’s not for you! It’s for God!” But where does it say God must be honored with the order of worship I experienced, and yes enjoyed. It’s quite easy to tell someone else they ought to do out of duty something you enjoy doing. Suppose, however, you didn’t enjoy it. Would you still do it? Can you criticize someone else for not doing it.
So what is my suggestion? If you want to know what millenials (the favored target) or any other generation or group of people want, ask them. If you’re wondering what sort of worship experience would attract them, not only ask, but ask them to lead. It might take you to the beach. You might wind up in a laboratory. You might wind up in a soup kitchen.
You might even end up with something very old, like the worship service described in 1 Corinthians 14 with everyone participating, bringing thoughts, songs, things they’ve heard from God during the week.
“But what if they mess it up?” you ask. “They don’t have any experience.”
So what? Peter denied Jesus and then Jesus left him in charge, more or less. He did provide him with a bunch of other losers—by the world’s standards—to help out.
Besides, you and I have been regularly making lots of mistakes for years. Lots of them. Instead of running the church, let’s offer them our help and support. Let’s see what they do with Jesus.