It’s no secret that massive decline in church attendance is occurring among the ranks of young adults and teens. Statistics tell us that somewhere between 60 to 70% of this generation are unplugging en masse from the local church. Some studies even state that as little as 4% of Generation Y are what we would consider evangelical believers. If this doesn’t rattle your cage, check your heartbeat.
Churches everywhere are trying new ideas, launching new processes, hiring crazy eyed young ministers, and embracing new technology in an attempt to reach one of the largest generations in world history.
Did you know that Generation Y makes up 50% of the worlds population and up to 1/3 of the US population? A great read on this subject is Generation iY – Our Last Chance To Save Their Future by Tim Elmore.
Ministries everywhere are launching social media campaigns, creating YouTube content, and thinking out of the box. It’s not rocket science that if you want to reach the lost, you meet them where they are at. With this in mind, let me share a short story with you.
One of my friends has become very versed in linking new ministry ideas with current technology, in spite of the fact that he is not a geek. He wasn’t well versed in marketing, editing, graphic design, or communications. He was, however, willing to try whatever it took to feed his addiction of reaching the lost.
From YouTube to Twitter, my friend @PastorHollyWood has created a spiderweb of ministry tools that he uses to reach a generation in peril. The coolest idea, the one that really stuck out to me, was an integration of the latest social media craze (Instagram) with a private messaging tool compatible with aliases – KiK. KiK is an SMS texting application for smartphones. Using KiK, @PastorHollywood was able to create a username in sync with his Twitter and Instragram profiles. This is important because of the growing culture of mentions and shout-outs in the Instagram/Twitter world.
Imagine if you had a ministry tool that could be accessed anytime by hurting teenagers who stumble upon your post because you used a certain hashtag or because another teen who was ministered to gave you a shout-out. The results would be humbling, and they have been with @PastorHollywood. He is inundated with prayer requests every day, resulting in multiple salvations, deliverances, rescues from suicide, and healing – did I mention daily. Most of us (should we choose to be honest) don’t see that happen every week in our church services, much less everyday.
But these people, how do we know they really gave their lives to Christ, how do we know they are really saved?
How do you know that the person you prayed with this week at the altar actually gave their lives to Christ? Did they really mean what they said when they repeated your prayer? We can’t be the judge of someones heart. We have to trust that His Word does not return void. He will do what He says He will do.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
Simply put, it’s not up to us to determine the sincerity of someones prayers – but it is up to us to introduce the one whom they should pray to. So why not introduce them using social media?
If you are looking for a cool tool to connect with teens and young adults where they are at, certainly give KiK a try. Setting it up to mimic your branding would be advisable – for more info on unified branding check out my post – A Unified Front. If accountability is a concern, KiK stores conversations in similar fashion to private messaging on Twitter – but with the added ability of sending longer posts and the functionality of an SMS system.