One notable challenge church ministers face in current times is how to help the young members grow. That’s because the younger generations nowadays — Gen Z and millennials — have different needs and systems influencing their thought processes.
Indeed, Social media, technology, and entertainment have a huge influence on the youths. As a result, it becomes difficult to nurture them in a way that supersedes all of that. Nevertheless, there are strategies pastors can use to help these young ones grow in faith.
Modularize the church building
Let’s face it, youths and teenagers today are looking for an assortment of experiences and places that give them the opportunity to live practically. Sadly, if your church only shares sermons on Sunday mornings, they will just term it boring.
Young people say school is fun, not only because of the academic work but the availability of extracurricular activities. People look forward to such experiences.
You can attract and nurture the younger generation by providing a church environment that offers them the pick-and-choose lifestyle they require. Have separate areas meant for different activities like a place for quiet reflection, connecting with others, and practicing their faith.
Model the right example
As a pastor and parent, you can pass on the faith to other families by modeling what it looks like to disciple your own kids. No young person will want to take your word if you fail in parenting. Like they say, “you can’t give what you don’t have.”
So the first place you want to start building young disciples is at home. Only then can you be an example. But what if you’re single or an empty nester? Going for discipleship training may be worth considering if you must build the capacity to develop young people willing to follow.
Make your church a respite
The burden of an uncertain future constantly strains young people. The anxiety, financial worries, and pressure to find one’s calling and “make it” in life overwhelm the average youth. So why not make your church an environment where they can find respite from the everyday stress?
Simple design choices like adding nature, natural light, and strategic window placement can help young people deal with stress by creating a sense of calm. Let them get the beneficial feeling of being in nature.
Repeatedly preach God’s expectations of the family
Not all youths worship with their parents, so you might not have parents and their own kids in your congregation. What do you do?
Repeatedly communicate God’s expectations of the family, like in Deuteronomy 6:4-7, which describes His purpose for a family. It talks about parents passing the faith to their children. So for young ones who aren’t in your church, their parents can help pass these teachings to them. Remind parents that they are the primary spiritual influence in their child’s life.
Some scriptures also describe how children should behave to their parents and society. Keep reminding families of their God-giving role in the home, family, and their world in general.
To successfully build younger generations in the faith, it’s advisable to never neglect the parents. This includes equipping parents to be role models to their kids and to feel confident to become their children’s first “pastor.” In addition, equip parents and youths with the appropriate resources for each stage of their growth.