Churches, Are You Listening to Your Gen Y?

A couple weeks ago I attended Edge: Online Promotion, a trade seminar on using social media to promote business. Initially, I questioned how worthwhile it would be because when I researched the presenter online, she looked to be all of 25-years-old.

I mean, really, how much professional experience could someone this age have? And how much Twittering could she be doing that actually substantiated something more than outings with her friends? After all, I need to learn how to market my business. I need to generate income!

Boy, was I wrong.

Caitlin McCabe is a social media strategist. Maybe you’re like me and wondering what this newly invented title does? According to her elevator pitch she develops “highly-detailed, research-based social media plans for brands that seek to utilize the latest tools to create relationships online, build brand buzz, and determine their ROI.”

Simply put, Caitlin helps businesses utilize online social media for their marketing purposes. Her client list includes Mitsubishi and Allstate Insurance. Clearly she’s more than narcissistic fluff.

Caitlin is a smart cookie who’s quick on the draw. She knows big name companies now recognize social media as a viable and necessary marketing tool. She’s in the forefront of advising them and I bet she’s getting paid pretty good to do so.

So what’s my point? And how does this relate to communicating Christ?

Well, let me ask my question again…are you listening to your Gen Y?

As longtime church members, wizened with experience and age, it’s easy for us to feel we know the “best way” to manage our congregation. We make all the decisions because, after all, we’re the only ones attending meetings and volunteering to serve.

But in today’s age, is our way always best? Do we even know all the possibilities?

When was the last time you contacted 20-30 year olds and asked their opinion on your church website? Or the monthly newsletter? Do they even read the newsletter? Have you asked them to set up a church Facebook account? Or a Twitter?

When was the last time you seriously considered their suggestions?

There’s a reason big companies are listening to Gen Y. God has blessed this generation with innovative ideas very different than those of generations before them. Their creative thinking is setting the pace for today’s technological world.

Our churches need to listen to Gen Y too.

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