[This blog was written by INJOY Stewardship team member, Nick Mauney].
The word “millennial” may be the hottest buzzword in the church leadership world right now.
So many church experts are talking, writing, and teaching on HOW to engage millennials in your church experiences. This is a substantial felt need in so many churches, and it’s incredibly helpful that so many experts are helping you address this need, but hardly any of this content is being communicated from the perspective of a millennial.
You see, I am a millennial. I was born in 1994, I’m a recent college graduate, I have student loan debt, and I give to my church. Let me tell you five things you need to understand about why I - a millennial - give to my church.
(1) I give because I love my church.
- I love a lot of things about my church - our mission, our vision, the people, the diversity, our leadership model, and the actual, measurable impact we are having in our community. Call me “Captain Obvious,” but I give to my church because I love it.
(2) My church talks about it in a way I can understand.
I understand why I should give. We talk about tithes and offerings in simple terms, and in a straightforward manner. They teach me what the Bible says about honoring God with my finances, and they always communicate tithes and offerings as a spiritual act of worship.
(3) I feel included and valued when my church talks about money.
My church takes me seriously as a contributor to what God is doing in our community. Contrary to the popular narrative on millennials, my church believes people my age are good, responsible people who have so much potential to make a positive difference in the world, so they depend heavily on us to contribute our time, talent and treasure to accomplish our church’s mission.
(4) My church helps me realize that my giving matters.
This is two-fold. First, my church always communicates giving as a spiritual matter, and talks about the power giving and generosity has to keep me free form the chains of greed. Second, my church shares real stories of how lives are being changed in our community because of the ministry we are able to fund. Every time I hear these stories, someone says, “Thank you to those of you who give. Because you give, we can see stories like this happen every single week.”
(5) My church talks about it all the time.
This is something that can never be overplayed or overstated. I give to my church because it’s part of our identity to talk about money and stewardship all the time. I cannot remember a Sunday where we didn’t talk about it, and I wasn’t challenged to honor God with my finances. It’s always a top-of-the-mind issue for me.
Millennials are a unique generation that the Church is just now beginning to figure out, but something one of my pastors says all the time is that “Belonging precedes belief.”
Before millennials BELIEVE you want what’s best for them, they have to feel like they BELONG in your family of believers.
So, knowing these five things, how can you make millennials feel like they BELONG in your church?
To gain more insight from millennials on the topic of church stewardship, listen to Episode 01 of The Ship Podcast where our panel of church-going millennials discusses why THEY give.
Also listen on:
Apple Podcasts App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ship/id1331128237?mt=2