The Growth Strategy of a Church

At one point in history someone figured out that if you customize a product or a service for a certain group of people it works better. Demographic segmentation was born.

Malls have kids stores, women’s stores and shoe stores.  Television has old movies, rated R movies, and kids shows. Restaurant’s have a kids and seniors menu.

I have had a problem for the past couple of years; I would like to see Church gain popularity towards the younger generation (13-25 year-olds), sadly I believe the opposite is true. It’s not just “society’s” fault, I think the Church could be doing a better job.

Church doesn’t customize very well, sure there’s a daycare and Sunday school but a congregation is usually made-up of people anywhere from the age of 12 or 13 all the way to 80 or 90 years old.  Is there any other time in our lives that people 70 years apart in age can truthfully find meaning in the same message?  Possibly some movies or spectacular entertainment productions but for every other part of our lives, organizations have improved their service to cater to certain people.

The answer I receive when I mention my argument is always; “the Church shouldn’t have to cater to you, you should just like it.”  I believe it’s that attitude that turns our generation away. When your strategy to engage the younger generation is “they should just like it”, I don’t think you have much hope for growth.

If you have any suggestions on this conundrum I would appreciate your help, obviously it is a delicate topic but I assure you the intent of this post was not to offend.  Just trying to help everyone who’s been confused in a Church service before, including myself.

2 replies
  1. Chelsea
    Chelsea says:

    Now by no means do I attend church regularily, but I will tell you the difference between a service I enjoy and one I don’t.
    Many times church has felt very “dated” to me. Generally passages are delivered with that exact attitude you mention of “you should just believe this and live by it.” But that’s not realistic…. especially with our generation that is highly opinionated and have the habit of picking everything apart. We have this natural instinct to play “devils advocate” with everything we see and hear, even if its something we believe in. Unfortunately, that is something that will never change and is probably what affects most 13-25 yr olds in their decision to attend church or not. And we cant igonore the fact that between 13-25 you are desperately trying to figure yourself out, pave your own path, or even rebel.
    The best services I have been to are when current events and real world examples are discussed. All of a sudden there is an openness and I want to listen! I’m more easily persuaded and genuinely want to be engaged when the conversation is something I can relate to. I don’t think that the church has to change their purpose or their message….its all in how they deliver it!

  2. Jonathan
    Jonathan says:

    Ok so by no means is it a secret I am no fan of organized religion, we can get into the reasons why another time. But right now I am pretty content that the catholic church is too stuck in its ways to change its marketing approach because it is causing huge flows of people to stop going in North America (the only downside is in developing countries because other less civil religions are becoming very adept at recruiting).
    Maybe rather than rant about why I think it is great the church sucks at marketing all of a sudden I will instead offer you a small tidbit (really only scratching the surface) of why I am no fan of any organized religion and why I believe they are holding back our human evolution.


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