One of the biggest debates among religious leaders today is how to attract millennial members. A Pew Research Center study revealed that roughly 28% of millennials attend church weekly. Yet, half of the survey respondents were “absolutely certain” that God exists, and another 21% were “fairly certain.” It’s clear that millennials are open to the existence of God, but America’s churches are somehow not reaching them.
Barna Group did some in-depth research into what millennials want out of a worship space, and there have been many other religious leaders speaking on the topic of how to attract millennials to church. Here are some of the most important things millennials want out of a church service.
For millennials, the most important aspect of a church is its authenticity. They are looking for a real experience with deep meaning, not an impressive facility or entertaining performance. From the way members interact to the words spoken during the service, millennials want the church service to be truly meaningful.
Facilitating Connections with Other Members
Millennials go to church to connect with God and one another. It’s important to create an atmosphere that welcomes new church members and makes it easy for them to connect to the rest of the community.
Seating arrangements can go a long way toward making the members feel connected. Pews used to be the preferred seating in churches, but today church chairs have grown in popularity. Chairs can be arranged a number of different ways. While straight rows are most traditional, an unconventional design may actually make millennials feel more welcome.
Clear Layout and Signage
Another thing millennials want from your space is a clear layout and signage. You should make it as easy as possible for new visitors to find everything in your facilities, from restrooms to the main worship area. This will make them feel more welcomed, and eliminate the need to ask for directions to navigate your space.
Opportunities for Mentorship
Members of this young generation crave mentorship from older adults. It’s important to encourage inter-generational connection within your church. Consider starting a program to connect mentors with potential mentees. While it’s fine to have events designed for different age groups, you should also have some events that are open to all. This way, everyone has a chance to get to know each other.
Opportunities for Service
Millennials see social justice and service as real and vital parts of Christianity. They are hungry for opportunities to serve their community. If you wish to attract this generation to your church, then your congregation should be active in community service.
A Place of Rest
In our busy world full of noise and activity, millennials crave a retreat. They look to their church to offer a place of rest and spiritual refreshment. Many worship leaders believe they must constantly entertain the congregation with catchy music and insightful talks, but quieter moments may be just what your younger members are looking for in the worship service.
A Blend of Traditional and Modern
In a study conducted by Barna, millennials showed a mixed preference for spaces with traditional elements and spaces that were modern. Some of the words they used to describe their ideal church were “community,” “sanctuary,” “classic,” “quiet,” “casual,” and “modern.” It appears that what millennials want out of churches today is the best of both worlds: the spirituality of a traditional church layout combined with the casualness of a modern space.
One of the best ways to incorporate that blend is through the use of church chairs for seating. Church chairs allow for maximum flexibility and comfort. They also come in a variety of styles, so it’s easy to attain a traditional look with a modern feel.
If your church doesn’t already incorporate these things into the worship experience, consider making changes to attract the younger generations. After all, they are the future. If a church hopes to survive, it must have the support of the younger generations.
At ChurchPlaza, we design church seating solutions for your congregation. Contact us to speak to a product specialist, or browse our selection of high-quality church chairs. We look forward to serving your congregation with the best worship seating available!