The Church in the hands of Millennials.
With the future of the Church in the hands of Millennials, Gen Xers and Gen Yers, approaching the challenging task of growing and opening doors to today’s youth is within reach.
Meet and greet them they already are.
With the younger generations using smartphones and tablets for seeking information, making connections and beginning or deepening their faith journey—the challenge and opportunity to touch them with an intimacy not experienced before is obtainable.
The Church need only be present in the same environment where their audience waits this connection. With a church app on their smartphone, this connection becomes intimate in an instant.
Since technology is made available so early to them, children and teenagers can be reached and influenced easier now than in any other time. According to a report from The NPD Group, 71% of households in 2014 with a child between the ages of 4 and 14 own a smartphone.
Technology devices have become staples for American families as traditional toys.
While it is no surprise smartphone ownership is highest in younger demographics, a noticeable lack of the presence of church apps creates a gap of where to go when seeking a faithful community.
Today’s youth are more likely to search the app store than their browser when looking for information on their phones.
Certainly the popularity of prayer and bible apps provide a mighty connection.
Because of these factors, a Catholic Church app for your parish has a remarkable opportunity to address the needs and desires of the entire flock, sending an invitation to youth and adults alike to connect specifically with your congregation.
Church apps can be readily found by all who seek greater connection with its two-way engagement being just a tap away.
A research survey reported by Barna states that people aged 18 to 29 “stand apart in their unsurpassed digital savvy” and that this group uses social and digital media to practice and engage with religion.
“The one-way communication from pulpit to pew is not how Millennials experience faith,” the survey said.
The digital era has handed these younger smartphone users the world at their fingertips. Their life is very much made up of interactive connectedness that includes their faith communities.
Whether the Church is ready or not, the internet and social media greatly influence the faith habits of youth as they more than ever connect to religion using their smartphones, thus ensuring a connection that extends beyond Sunday’s pew.
Having their church communities in their palms strengthens their relationships with their churches while giving them the ability to share faith.
How pleased St Paul would be with this modern day evangelization and discipleship tool!
The presence of the church on a smartphone or tablet with a parish app provides a natural and acceptable connection that demonstrates the usefulness of today’s technology.
Meeting and ministering to the youth via their phones gives a parish the ability for constant conversation.
This is how the Church can be present, open, and provide what the yearning seekers are hoping to find… COMMUNITY and a place to deepen their relationship to Christ.
Remember, a website does not speak to a smartphone whereas a church can send out timely information via push notifications within a church app that is absorbed immediately.
The ability to not only reach but make an impact on today’s Catholic youth with church social media, video or podcast homilies are now easily accessible in one place—a Catholic Church app.
This approach gives the parish churches the best opportunity to engage with their youth as they are most susceptible to being reached in the environment where they are already participants.
As churches are recognizing more and more the importance of getting with the times, there is no uncertainty as to how and where to reach the youth.
The onus is on Pastors to demonstrate the Lord’s presence in a welcoming community by crossing the bridge and meeting them where the questions about faith and church community are being posted.
With the obvious widespread use of mobile apps by young users, the church need not look any further than the powerful tool of a church app to deliver the message of community and divinity.
A Catholic Church app sends a direct and specific message to members (and those looking) that a parish is engaged in the digital age, communicates on their terms, and gives them the ability to be connected and participate beyond Sunday.
Being able to read the bulletin, read or view last Sunday’s homily, or tithing in a church app gives today’s youth the choice to access their churches on their time at any time.
On the subject of tithing, consider the fact that over 50% of the youth are doing their banking from their mobile devices, it is wise for the church to offer this option as well.
With the changes in donation methods, those churches that adopt today’s means will see less drop down the road while serving the youth now than those that stay with more traditional ways.
Offering a payment option through their church app would be a welcomed and useful tool for younger church members.