}

Kate White

Contributor

Kate is the associate director for resources at the Center for Congregations. She manages educational resources and works to get the best resources into the hands of congregations.

Contributions From Kate White

Collection
Congregational Leadership Development
Curator Kate White
Collection
Relationships in Ministry
Curator Kate White
Collection
Equip and Empower Volunteers
Curator Kate White
Collection
Using Social Media in Your Congregation
Curator Kate White
Collection
Congregational Finance
Curator Kate White
Collection
Inclusive Congregations
Curator Kate White
Collection
Your Congregation's Culture
Curator Kate White
Collection
Flourishing Resource Guides
Curator Kate White
Collection
Facility Management
Curator Kate White
Collection New
Addressing Trauma
Curator Kate White
For The CRG Created For The CRG
Relationships: A Millennial Perspective

In a gathering of congregational leaders, the word “millennial” enters the conversation. A wave of uneasiness settles in — judgment, honest confusion or distress. What is the future of our congregation with these young people?

As a church-going millennial and congregational consultant, I observe these conversations through a few different lenses. Here’s what you should consider.

“What if millennials are the carriers and not the cause [of cultural change].” – Mike McHargue

Thought leader Mike McHargue, voice of The Liturgists podcast and The New Copernican Series, encourages a broader perspective of our changing lifestyles and overall culture. To quote a friend, “I wasn’t born this way, glued to my phone. I didn’t choose to have a six-second attention span.”

Action step: Try withholding judgment in favor of seeking understanding. You might learn something and uncover that millennials make more sense than you thought.

We are individuals with unique stories and normal human needs. Labeling us “millennials” doesn’t even scratch the surface of who we are. We have personalities, varied hardships and defining life experiences. What we do share is an isolating, technology-driven culture. Because of this, we especially need authentic conversation and relationships.

Action step: Try getting to know us on an individual level. This step is recommended in Center staffer Wendy McCormick’s Engaging Young Adults article. My best relationships started by getting together outside of the worship building. Meet us for coffee or invite us to a sports game, a game night, lunch or a local show.

We’ll likely collaborate with you to do something. As society gets faster, our time is important. Help us use time together to further our goals and contribute to something bigger than ourselves. Giving us a meaningful role will make us feel valued and grow our commitment to the congregation.

Action Step: Ask us what we’re interested in or passionate about. Support us in making those ideas happen. Derrick Feldmann’s Social Movements For Good will help you understand social movements of this generation and what makes them successful.

As you get to know young adults, you’ll be able to spend more time together doing the life-giving activities of your congregation.

For The CRG Created For The CRG
Faith Life: A Millennial Perspective

Most people can carry a casual conversation with a young adult. If that seems like a challenge in your congregation, check out the first part of this blog Relationships: A Millennial Perspective.

How about discussing values and faith beliefs with that younger generation? It’s accurate to say “times have changed.” In many parts of the United States, it’s no longer assumed that people go to worship every week. This makes conversations about faith challenging –but not impossible.

As a congregational consultant and millennial, here’s what I think you should know about millennials and faith.

We value spirituality and group connection. Contrary to statistics declaring the decline of religion in America, millennials do care about spirituality. It just looks different. Consider the Harvard Divinity study How We Gather. Thriving millennial movements like Crossfit and The Dinner Party draw upon common elements: community, personal and social transformation, purpose finding, creativity and accountability.

Action step: Evaluate which of those elements your congregation does well. Practice talking about those benefits and invite potential newcomers.

Value us through hospitality. I appreciate worship services that allow casual clothes and free coffee. It’s not about the cool leader in jeans or the best local brew. It’s about inviting us to come as we are. If it’s between wearing jeans and not showing up, it’s better to have us show up in jeans.

Action step: Take time to evaluate the new visitor experience. This list of 50 Ways to Welcome New People will help. While staying true to your congregation’s culture, eliminate unnecessary discomfort for visitors.

We are likely to question faith and require a safe space to do that. Rather than accepting doctrine or marketing, young adults prioritize exploration and personal experiences to determine their beliefs. This allows for rich, yet messy, thinking. Author of The New Copernicans Dr. John Seel explains this well. I highly recommend checking out his book.

Action step: Practice active listening and humility to prioritize relationships. This is especially important when the other person doesn’t share your beliefs. Celeste Headlee’s TEDTalk will help you brush up on conversation skills. Once you build a trusting space, it becomes easier to dialogue about faith.

web resource
Scientists in Congregations
This website, emerging from a grant program of the John Templeton Foundation, provides a wealth of multimedia educational materials to encourage congregational dialogue exploring the coexistence of science and theology.
article article
Why We Aren’t Learning
This article identifies four factors that keep congregational leaders from adapting.
media media Updated
Endangered Churches
This 10-minute video surveys the changing landscape of sacred buildings in Philadelphia.
article article
Becoming an Adaptive Leader: Based on the Work of Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky
This article overviews an adaptive leadership process used to define challenges and help interpret the situation.
article article Updated
How We Gather
This 22-page report helps readers understand how younger generations meet in community.
web resource
Pro Church Tools
This hub for digital media provides training, tutorials and free templates and tools for congregations.
article article
Building the Church’s Readiness for a Transformational Ministry Journey
This research-based article is a roadmap to transformative community ministry with seven readiness characteristics, action steps, and reflection questions.
article article
Something More
This visually-engaging report highlights 10 innovative faith communities to spark conversation about transforming religion in America. It was written as a follow up to How We Gather .
article article
Traditioned Innovation
This short article explains how congregations can achieve transformative change by upholding tradition while introducing innovation and growth.
book book
Networked Theology: Negotiating Faith in Digital Culture
This book explains how media influences personal theology, providing tips to talk faith online and create a faith-based community response.
media media
The New Copernicans Series
This series of short videos explores the nuances of faith, meaning, and everyday life in the 21st century.
organization organization
Saturate
This organization equips churches to create disciples through small groups at homes, moving from Sunday programming to everyday life.
article article
Vital Congregations
This study of leaders across ten faith traditions defines spiritual vitality, reveals which factors help or hurt congregational vitality, and offers strategies to improve vitality.
book book
GreenFaith: Mobilizing God's People to Save the Earth
book book
Black Millennials & the Church: Meet Me Where I Am
This collection of African American narratives and statistics offers practical strategies to reach and disciple Black young adults.
web resource
Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Project Resources and Solutions
This web page lists 40 practical inclusion resources with tips, examples and templates to address food allergies, b’ nei mitzvah, mental health and welcoming people of all abilities.
article article
Synagogue Inclusion Inventory & Focus Group Guidelines
This 11-page document gives leaders a process to assess their facility and conduct group interviews, evaluating the congregation's accessibility, policies, and awareness related to disabilities.
media media
Healing the Healers
This series of short videos offers peer support for faith leaders who respond to community-level trauma such as gun violence, disaster and suicide.
book book
Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection
This book offers stories and key strategies for conversation skills and meaningful human connection beyond digital devices.
book book
Building Resilience with Appreciative Inquiry: A Leadership Journey through Hope, Despair, and Forgiveness
This uplifting book shares how leaders can build resilience through a daily discipline of Appreciative Inquiry and building relationships.
book book
My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies
This book enlightens readers about generational trauma, its impact on the body, and how to heal the racialized trauma in America.
article article
What does it mean for a ministry to be trauma-informed?
This short article gives an overview of trauma-informed organizations and offers six key principles for ministries to adopt.
media media New
What Manner of Woman
This 15-minute documentary celebrates black women, explains Womanist Theology, and highlights women’ s historic contributions to freedom and Liberation Theology.
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.