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Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church and How to Win Them Back

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Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church and How to Win Them Back

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This presentation demystifies the millennial generation. I share specific tools, strategies, and tactics on how the church can reach the millennial generation.

This presentation demystifies the millennial generation. I share specific tools, strategies, and tactics on how the church can reach the millennial generation.

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Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church and How to Win Them Back

  1. 1. This is Your Subtitle Click to edit Master title style This is Your Subtitle
  2. 2. This is Your Subtitle Click to add title
  3. 3. 1) Millennials 2) Gen X 3) Baby Boomers
  4. 4. 1) Millennials 2) Gen X 3) Baby Boomers
  5. 5. 1) Millennials 2) Gen X 3) Baby Boomers
  6. 6. (Source: Goldman Sachs)
  7. 7. A study called Stress in America compiled several key findings about millennials: • Millennials and Gen-Xers report the highest levels of stress • Millennials are the most likely of all generations to say their stress has increased in the past year • Millennials are more likely than any other generation to say they have felt a sense of loneliness/isolation due to stress in the past month. • Millennials are more likely than other generations to say that stress has a very strong or strong impact on their physical and mental health. The average age for the onset of depression has dropped from late forties or early fifties, where it was 30 years ago, to mid twenties, and it’s expected to drop further. (Source: HBR)
  8. 8. Millennials are less engaged in the workplace than are their older counterparts, and they are more likely to be categorized as “not engaged.” Millennials’ lack of engagement costs the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually in lost productivity. • 41% of millennials expect to be in their current job for two years or less (compared to 17% of Gen X and 10% of Boomers • An average twenty-something will have 7 jobs in this decade • Millennials earn 20% less than Boomers did at same stage of life • Millennials—51% in 2016, compared to 41% in 2013— report being underemployed, according to a survey conducted by Accenture (Source: Gallup) Economic Uncertainty and Emerging Adulthood
  9. 9. Average amount of debt, per borrower, by year of graduation 63% of Millennials have more than $10,000 in student debt. They'll be paying for decades. The average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year.
  10. 10. Pew Research Center finds that about 36% of women between the ages of 18 and 34, and roughly 43% of men in the same age bracket still live with their parents or other relatives — the highest percentage since the 1940s. The Boomerang Generation
  11. 11. Millennials have been putting off significant milestones like marriage and children. But that doesn’t mean they want to stay single forever. Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research
  12. 12. Epidemic of the 21st century: The ever-present social media world reminds us there is always something more fun and glamorous to be doing, but those things are rarely doable unless we have income, which comes from jobs that expects us to work. Another fear prevalent among millennials is that they are not fulfilling their passions in their jobs. While it’s probably true, only a small percentage of people get to enjoy that privilege. And even fewer people get paid to do their hobbies—something millennials often expect. “Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) millennials experience FOMO.” - Eventbrite Epidemic of Millennials in the 21st Century
  13. 13. The American church has more commonly been known for what it stands against rather than what the church stands for. Large majority of Christian parents have done a poor job living out their faith and raising their children in the Bible. Many were brought up in a legalistic family. Christianity isn’t portrayed well in the media. It isn’t politically correct to a Christian anymore. Social pressure to “fit in” is largely absent among millennials.
  14. 14. A significant number of young adults have deeper complaints about church. More than one-third say their negative perceptions are a result of moral failures in church leadership (35%). And substantial majorities of Millennials who don’t go to church say they see Christians as judgmental (87%), hypocritical (85%), anti-homosexual (91%) and insensitive to others (70%). Select the image that feels most like the present-day Christianity… (Source: Barna Group)
  15. 15. We live in a culture where half of marriages will end in divorce. More than 40% of those who are born today are born into an unmarried family. • Change your view on vulnerability. sometimes the boldest thing a leader can do is to just sit and listen – rather than drive the conversation • Accept vulnerability as a strength. Being vulnerable isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t make you weak; it actually makes you a better leader because you stop wasting energy protecting yourself from what you think other people shouldn’t see. • Practice and be a student of vulnerability. Most of us need to practice being vulnerable because we’re used to working to impress others through our actions and words. Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think. ~ Brené Brown
  16. 16. World-renowned expert on vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame
  17. 17. Millennial Christians are more than twice as likely to say their church helped them learn "about how Christians can positively contribute to society" compared to those who drop out of church. • Over 40% state they are not born again. • 35% declare the Bible has errors or that they don’t know if it has errors. • Over 45% say they were not taught to defend their faith at Sunday school. • 45% say homosexual behavior is not a sin or that they don’t know if it is a sin. • 40% believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and have legal rights, and an additional 10% say they don’t know if they should or not. • 65% believe if you are a good person you will go to heaven. 20% (Drop outs) 46% (Actives)
  18. 18. 4 Most Important Things to Keep in Mind as a Mentor of Millennials 1. Give lots of feedback reinforcing - in real-time, if possible -- what they’ve done well and what could be better. 2. Be authentic and wisely transparent; they respect, and they can very quickly when someone is being insincere 3. Try not to exert your position or authority to motivate or lead Millennials. They don’t respect authority for authority’s sake, because they’ve experienced many reasons to distrust authority figures. Offer the reasons behind your requests and be willing to hear their perspective. 4. Be willing to admit your own faults and blind spots, and be open to how you can improve. Reverse Mentoring Best Practices • Global perspective - Millennials are often well-traveled, culturally pluralistic and knowledgeable about the world. • Sustainability ideas - From the environment to fair trade, Millennials are hyper- aware of consumerism’s effects on the world. • Social concern - From founding non-profits to buying TOMS shoes, justice issues are on many Millennials’ minds and hearts. • Optimism - Millennials often have a can-do attitude and an expansive expectation of what’s possible • Entrepreneurial spirit - Crowd-sourcing sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo have helped to cultivate an entrepreneurial culture among young adults around the world. Try out Reverse Mentoring (Source: Barna Group)
  19. 19. • According to a Barna Group’s study, only 40% of practicing Christians say they have a clear sense of God’s calling on their lives. • Christian millennials are especially sensitive to this divine prompting: 48% say they believe God is calling them to different work, yet they haven’t yet made such a change. • Nearly two-thirds of churched adults say it has been at least three years or more since they heard church teachings on work and career.
  20. 20. President of Barna Group
  21. 21. • Offer vocational counseling or coaching for those struggling to find work or making an unplanned work transition. • Provide workspaces and other specialized facilities for those who need a place to work, network or develop a new idea; consider staffing it with retired church members who can lend advice or a listening ear. • Offer apprenticeships and internships—formal or informal—with businesses that have a focus on values. • Offer community service opportunities or missions trips in which millennials work side by side with people using secular skills in a ministry context (e.g., medical or aviation missionaries, skilled labor, pro- bono lawyers, etc.) What might vocational discipleship look like in your organization, practically speaking? Here are a few ideas: • Identify Christian professionals or tradespersons who can commit to in- depth relationships (mentoring, but with a vocational focus), or even just provide exposure (such as a ride-along with a Christian police officer, or any other profession where a young person could spend a day with a Christian at his or her secular workplace). • Provide explicit training for how to live out Christianity in the workplace—seminars, case studies, personal stories. • Offer assessments and counseling for those who are selecting a trade, a college or a degree path. New Ideas For Vocational Discipleship (Source: Barna Group)
  22. 22. Here are a number of organizations and resources available to help build your vocational discipleship program
  23. 23. How to Engage Millennials in Your Organization (Source: Gallup)
  24. 24. Top Driver for Engagement and Retention in the Workplace What about ping-pong tables and free beer? Contrary to popular perception, Millennials place little importance on a company encouraging creativity or being a fun, informal place to work. In fact, Baby Boomers are slightly more likely than Millennials and Gen Xers to say that creativity and fun are “extremely important” to them when applying for a job. But Millennials do need to be convinced why and how an organization will help them learn, grow, and develop, and further their careers. What is the most important thing you look for when applying for a job? (Source: Harvard Business Review)
  25. 25. 3) What do you wish you knew at the start of your career? It also provides connection currency and then you can share what you’ve learned, which will help them in their careers. 5) How do you think you can be most helpful to teammates? Identifying the strengths of each millennial will help you put them in the best possible position for themselves and your teammates. 4) How do you think work could be restructured to make it more productive and enjoyable? You want their input because together you can create a great workplace. 1) How do you most like to spend your time? Everyone wants a boss who cares. This question helps you immediately open up the possibility for connecting on a mutual interest 2) What’s the most important lesson you learned at work? Again, caring…but more. It helps you coach on how they view their work and what strikes them as important. Powerful Questions that Will Help You Engage Your Millennial Employee
  26. 26. This is Your Subtitle
  27. 27. Formerly employed by both a Fortune 50 company and a Top 100 Great Place to Work Company, Paul Sohn is the founder of QARA. The vision of QARA is to equip, inspire, and empower twenty-somethings to discover their God-given identity and calling. Paul is a best-selling author of Quarter-Life Calling: Pursuing Your God-Given Purpose in Your Twenties. Paul was named one of the Top 33 under 33 Christian Millennials to Follow by Christianity Today. www.paulsohn.org www.qara.org • Top 33 Under 33 Christian Millennials to Watch by Christianity Today • Top 10 Most Socially Shared Leadership Blogs in the World • Top 100 Leaders in 2016 by John Maxwell & Company • Top Young Influencers List by Thom Rainer and Brad Lomenick Leadership Coach, Best-selling Author, Speaker
  28. 28. This is Your Subtitle pauljsohn paul.j.sohn paul.j.sohn@gmail.com @pauljsohn Qara.org

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