Connecting and communicating with millennials is the focus of industries worldwide. Within the ever-changing digital landscape, modern millennial communication continues to be dominated by social media trends. Churches also want to meet, support, and communicate with their millennial members effectively. After all, they are the leaders of tomorrow, right?
Millennials are integrating technology and faith to access Scripture, have online conversations and to make donations. So how can churches stay on top of communicating with their tech-savvy young adults?
Here are the three best methods for communicating with your millennial members:
Quick and easy communication is key for all of us in this hurried digital world, where instantaneous communication is king, especially for millennials. With more competition for their attention than ever before, text messaging enables quick, no hassle communication that takes care of business fast. This can be a particularly beneficial tool for church and youth groups.
- Reminders, event updates, volunteer requests, and even surveys are easily shared via text messages and have a high likelihood of being read and responded to by millennials.
- Text messages are less likely to be overlooked than emails.
- Group chats via text messaging are also very popular with millennials and become a fun way to have private conversations with a small, focused group.
There is no doubt that millennials rule the social media realm. Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (in this order according to Statistica) are the currently preferred platforms millennials are using most frequently. Younger millennials prefer Snapchat and Instagram, while elder millennials still trend toward Facebook. Apps are fun to use and keep the energy (and story) engaging. This becomes important, again, in keeping millennials’ attention.
- These apps also enable larger conversations with groups that can double, triple, and infinitely expand the range and reach of conversations and exposure.
- Trending posts are the ultimate way to grab attention and apps have this advantage hands down. One post can generate massive amounts of attention and draws countless eyes, comments, and feedback.
- Millennials are sensitive to trends and savvy communicators know how to craft messages to keep it fun and engaging for them.
Email is the snail mail of the millennial generation, and not because it’s slow. It just doesn’t have the shiny bells and whistles that social media apps have. It is a necessary part of life that is usually relegated to official or formal correspondences with family, teachers, churches, and businesses and is generally considered the digital tool used to share large amounts of information that cannot fit into social media sized snippets.
- Everyone does like to receive the information they need, and email can do the job, but checking email seems to be a laborious task that often goes undone for days on end.
- Email also lacks the fun, attention-grabbing features to compete with the popularity of social media or speed of texting.
Millennials Just Want to Connect
So what are churches to do about communicating with millennials? The first step is accepting that millennials have and are growing up in a digital world and they accept it without question. Technology is life for millennials. The second step is also realizing that this technology still falls short of its ultimate goal: authentic connection.
Millennials and everyone else on this planet crave authentic connection. Faith is a connection to something greater than ourselves and churches are those physical spaces where those connections are happening. Churches and church leaders can use online communication tools effectively to expand and deepen their connection with millennial members. Technology is here to stay, but millennials also crave something else that Gen Xers, baby boomers, and all past generations had in abundance: time to just be.
Creating physical spaces and real places that are free from technological distractions, where millennials can connect in real-time and give one another true face time and discuss their faith, is vital. The truth is that millennials do want to have fun, take action, and use their voices, but they also have to be taught and shown that faith, fun, and true connection happens in relationship with one another, with God, and offline.