Strategic Growth Initiative’s Age-Specific Recruiting
The phrase “Age-Specific Recruiting” could cause an awkward pause upon reading for the first time. What do you mean by recruiting? Are churches really in the business of recruiting?
The answer to these questions is a resounding “yes.” Churches have and will always be in the business of recruiting. While we might not use this language, nor have we thought about it in these terms, evangelism and discipleship are the ongoing processes of recruiting followers of Jesus to be part of a faith community. The mission of the church is to transform the world, one person at a time, with the invitation to follow Jesus. The efficacy of the life and work of a specific congregation will either draw or deter new members.
Often churches struggling to grow, or who are plateauing, look to the growth of large/mega churches, wondering why God is blessing them and not us. Most megachurches have grown, yes by the will of God, but also because they are actively recruiting people to be a part of their church.
So, let’s clarify the meaning of age-specific recruiting.
First, we need to think strategically about what we are offering and engage persons of various age groups, whether Traditionalists (born before 1945), Baby Boomers (after 1945), Generation X (1965-1976), Millennials (1977-1995), or Gen Z (1996 to today). We will consider our message, opportunities, and ongoing points of connection.
Secondly, we need to think strategically about inviting a variety of age groups to be a part of our faith community.
Too often churches identify a specific age group that is lacking from the church, thinking, “How can we reach young people.”
However, churches that want to fulfill the call to be intergenerational, must turn their focus to how to be a dynamic congregation for all age groups, not just a specific age group that might be lacking.
Theologically, experientially, and financially, the church needs all age groups represented.
Part of this evaluation process will be to study how we currently connect with the various age groups identified below, as well as considering how we can improve and find new ways to connect with these age groups.
Conversations for this process will require the study of the preferred communication style, motivational factors, and priority factors for each age group. Resources for study should include Pew Research, GIS, and U.S. Census data.
Note that the contemplation of a specific age group should also entail consideration of the marital and parental status of individuals.
Get Connected with the Strategic Growth Initiative
The Strategic Growth Initiative (SGI) is an invitation into a tremendous conversation about who we are, why we do what we do, and how we might experience exponential growth. Conversations will lead to brainstorming, testing of ideas, discernment of God’s leadership, and maneuvering to step into new practices.
Each member of UBC, whether the newest among us or tenured, has something to bring to the conversation. Will you join the conversation?
Get connected with the SGI by downloading an overview of the initiative from www.ubc-br.org/sgi or pick a copy at the narthex.
On September 22nd, UBC will host a church-wide gathering, at which we will focus on casting a vision for the initiative and have first meetings of various SGI teams.