The Daily Gamecock

​Column: Millennials, churches need each other

When’s the last time you were at a church gathering?

Odds are you had to think for a minute ... or a few. When it comes to reaching millennials, often today’s church falls short.

This is likely due to a combination of problems, including that many churches are dominated by older generations that don’t typically have much in common with their successors as well as the church’s lack of technology savvy people and millennials’ need for contemporary forms of engagement.

While many modern, millennial churches are technologically savvy, there is still a percentage of churches — especially older churches — which are resisting the tide. For example, 46 percent of church officials don’t want technology to be used during church gatherings. Meanwhile, 74 percent of church members read the Bible electronically.

As a millennial myself, I would encourage others in my generation to not just sit back and wait for the church to change, but to bring this change to the church by offering your opinion and maybe even your help in creating material to move them toward this goal.

At this point you may be thinking, "Why should I care?"

Well, studies show that those who are involved in a community and who identify with an organized belief system have better emotional wellbeing, a greater sense of belonging and increased ability to cope during a crisis. 

The problem arises when the differences between churches and millennials cause them to disengage from each other, and both can suffer from the loss of community and purpose

So what can you do to change this cycle of church-millennial division before it spirals into the ground? 

Consider joining a church that is struggling with increasing and maintaining a population of millennials. After you've established relationships within your church, approach church leaders to talk about how you could help them engage a younger audience, informing them of how both millennials and the existing church could benefit. 

If the leaders are receptive to engaging our generation, you could offer your help in using social media platforms, advertising, event planning and more to help them achieve a goal of generational cooperation within the church.

As more and more of us millennials question the viability of being a part of a church, it becomes even more important to reach out in ways that are already a part of our lives. Churches and millennials need to work together to engage the world so that other millennials can see how the church is relevant and beneficial to them — and everyone.