College & Young Adult

4 Tips for Building a Church Campus that Attracts Millennials

Whitney leaning against a railing on a downtown street
Photograph by Esther Tuttle

Millennials are the largest, most diverse and educated generation in history. They’re also less religious than any previous generation. In fact, only one-quarter of Millennials say they have no doubt about God's existence; two-thirds say they don't believe in God at all. This is a big problem for churches that want to attract young adults but it doesn't have to be if you make your church campus comfortable enough to draw them out of their homes and into the congregation!

Different Spiritual Needs

The Millennials, or Generation Y, are a different generation than those before them. Even though their spiritual needs may be different, the church should make every effort to try and find out what those needs are, and then work to meet them. If your church campus can do this, it may be more likely to attract millennials.

Church is not what it used to be. In previous generations, the majority of Christians attended church regularly and got their spiritual needs met there, but that is no longer true. Though some studies show that millennials want the church to play a role in their spiritual journey, other studies show that they are not attending as much as previous generations.

Here are 4 tips for making a church campus that attracts millennials:

1. Generate Trust

Generating spiritual trust is essential to a church's success. A church cannot survive without it, and must work diligently at generating it in order to grow.

Many churches have found that being transparent is a way of encouraging Millennials to trust. Being transparent about the church's financials and leadership keeps them engaged and allows them to know what is going on.

Another important thing churches can do to keep millennials coming to their campus is to provide opportunities for fellowship. If your church has a children's ministry, an athletic ministry, or any other opportunity for young adults to come together with others of the same age group and interests, then it will be more likely that they'll come out of their homes and into the congregation.

Some churches have found that providing resources for Millennials is also a way to help them come. Creating a blog or website with resources, as well as making sure the church's social media is up to date, will help keep them connected and coming back.

2. Make it Comfortable

Offering coffee around the clock in your church campus is just one way to make it more inviting for millennials. Have high-top tables, bean bag chairs and couches where they can sit comfortably while enjoying some coffee or browsing social media. The church can look like Starbucks in design with sections that are available for different needs, such as quiet introspection or loud group discussions.

Another way to help attract millennials is by making your church campus attractive with a comfortable worship space that has quality sound, video, and wireless internet access. The more comfortable your space is and the more tech-savvy, the more likely millennials are to come!

3. Offer Fun Events

Your church can also help millennials get plugged into your church by offering a variety of events, programs, and ministries. The more often they do something, the more inclined they will be to attend.

Some churches schedule games nights and pizza socials, while others put on shows and have open-mic nights where adults can develop their talents. If your church can offer things like this, millennials are more likely to come.

4. Invest in Small Groups

Church small groups are an important part of the life of many churches because they provide a place for members to fellowship and get to know one another better.

Small groups provide opportunities for church members to explore their faith in depth as they work through topics, study Scripture, pray together, and share experiences. It is a great place for them to get to know one other better as they come into contact with others who have similar interests or circumstances. Church small groups allow people from different backgrounds and age ranges to learn more about each other's lives so that we might take care of one another in love.

It's Really the Simple Things

Attracting millennials to your church can be a challenge, but it's not impossible! If you want more people coming out of their homes and into the congregation, consider making these changes. First, make sure that you're holding services in an attractive space with quality sound and video capabilities. Next there are other ways to draw them out: offer a variety of events or programs for young adults; provide resources on blogs and social media so they feel connected; have coffee available around-the-clock; create comfortable spaces where they can hangout with friends while chatting online or hanging out at Starbucks-style tables. Finally, try scheduling regular game nights or pizza socials as well as open mic opportunities for adults who want to develop their talents--these things could be the ticket to bringing more millennials back!