Millennials @ Church: How to be found?

Part 2 in a 2-part series looking at millennials at church written by Dannielle Barry. View Part 1 – Millennials at Church: Reaching the ‘me, me, me’ generation here.

Millennials are seeking community, relationships, a sense of meaning and purpose – and as we know, all of this is answered in Christ, and in the local church. We don’t need to focus so much on reaching out, we just need to be found. 

Be prayerful 

This should be the first step to everything, it needs to be. Prayer changes things (insert applicable bible verse here). This is the first step to being authentic and practicing what we preach, it shows we are genuine and that we care. Pray for the millennials that you know, and for the millennials that are now teachers, doctors, and emerging politicians in our government. 

Be accessible 

This generation has grown up accessing the internet for information. If a millennial wants to go to church, the first thing they’ll search for is ‘churches in my area.’ Don’t worry about how flashy your website looks, just have a presence with the information they need – where the church is, what time you meet, what you have to offer.  

Additionally, being accessible can also mean being visible in the community. Run fundraisers for important causes, offer emergency relief, attend events run by others. Don’t limit the church to your physical location. 

Be inviting 

Be a church that wants to know people and make them feel welcome. Don’t wait for an ‘introducing Christianity course’, Christmas or Easter to invite someone along, be a church that is open to visitors every weekend. Treat everyone as a potential new friend, someone to ‘do life with.’ Again, don’t let the physical location of the church limit you – bring church into your week, into a coffeeshop or the dinner table or a walk along the beach. 

Be authentic 

Being authentic makes the above possible. Becoming a Christian changes your whole life, it’s not limited to church on Sunday. If you want to be a church that welcomes people, become people that welcome people. If you preach about prayer – be seen praying for one another. If you preach that God loves all his children, be people that love all his children, even those different to you. 

Be patient 

I’ve said before that important to millennials is authenticity, transparency, honesty – and these sometimes take time to notice. Don’t pressure a millennial to conform, to register for a class or immediately go onto a roster. Be patient and demonstrate all the above values, being accessible, inviting and authentic – and let the millennial settle in. With the time to ascertain if the church is a good fit, once the decision is made,  you will know you have a committed church member.

Millennials @ Church: Reaching the ‘me, me, me’ generation?

Part 1 in a 2-part series looking at millennials at church written by Dannielle Barry.

Why would a millennial join a church community? 

Who are the millennial generation? 

The millennial generation is one you mostly hear bad things about: lazy, self-entitled, ‘got too many trophies growing up’, over-confident, shallow and selfish, so different to generations before. The people in this generation seem to be delaying adulthood, marrying later and postponing becoming a parent. They appear to be jumping from career to career, searching for work life balance and questioning what a ‘normal life’ means. Time magazine calls it the ‘me, me, me’ generation. 

The millennial generation spans from 1980-2000. I was born in 1991 so at 27 I am one of them, and many of these stereotypes apply to me. I’m not yet married, and I don’t have children. I’ve moved cities in search of somewhere that ‘felt like home’. I’ve changed career direction because I lost faith and satisfaction in my work and wanted a better work life balance. I’m now pursuing graduate education in an area I’m passionate about. And most importantly for this topic – I’ve left many churches because they didn’t feel right.  

In saying this, I don’t believe I’m selfish or shallow, lazy, over-confident or self-entitled. I didn’t ask my workplace to change or cater to my needs, and I never really asked all the churches I’ve left to change either. I just kept looking until I found somewhere to fit, somewhere I could be myself, and somewhere my faith could grow. 

What interests the millennial generation? 

I believe this is the key to reaching my generation. More than any generation before millennials are looking for authenticity. Millennials are challenging the idea of normal because we accept differences; encouraging our peers to be honest, transparent and to have integrity – be your true self regardless of what anyone thinks.  

Contrary to popular belief millennials are willing to work hard, provided it’s for something they believe in. Maybe we are over-confident and self-entitled, but does that have to be a bad thing? From what I’ve seen, that over-confidence and self-entitlement mean my generation are willing to be open about wanting to live in a world that is better for everyone, advocating for human rights, sustainable living, and closing the gap for rich and poor. 

What does this mean for the church? 

So, what do these big ideas mean for our little church? The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Good News for everyone. So, we want to reach out to millennials who now make up the bulk of the working adult population (19-40) and are becoming parents themselves, raising the next generation.  

The good news is I don’t believe we need to work hard to reach out. Millennials are seeking community, relationships, a sense of meaning and purpose – and as we know, all of this is answered in Christ, and in the local church. We don’t need to focus so much on reaching out, we just need to be found.

AMP 2018/19 – Get Involved! Step 4: Get in on the Action!

So you’ve enrolled to vote, you’ve been praying about the nominations, you’ve read the report and sent in your questions- now it’s time for action!

Nov 25th AMP Part 1: Elections & Ministry Reports

This is when the actual election happens and where we get an overview of the past ahem… 9-ish months (we’ll explain soon). Voting takes place over 2 weeks (18th & 25th) and is like going to the polls – there’s ballot papers, instructions and you have to get marked on the roll that you’ve voted.

Feb 17th AMP Part 2: Financials & Budget

If you like numbers or are interested in stuff like income and expenditure you don’t want to miss this! This is when we will vote on our budget for 2019. We will release it 2 weeks earlier for us all to analyse and dissect. Again, please send in questions beforehand!

Why the 2 parts?

Having our elections early means our new councillors and office bearers can hit the ground running when they officially start their roles Jan 1st. It also gives a neat six weeks for any handovers to happen. The rhythm may feel off (with only 9 months since our last AMP) but by next year it will feel right in time!

And Voila! AMP accomplissez!

AMP 2018/19 – Get Involved! Step 3: Get in the Know!

This weekend we are releasing our Annual Meeting of Parishioners Report for 2018/19. Thus we humbly introduce to you:

Step 3: Get in the Know!

Inside the Report you will discover a collection of submissions from our Ministry Team Leaders (MTLs) and church leadership sharing their reflections of 2018 and their ministry goals for 2019. (If you would like a copy please get in touch with the church office here.)

Did you know…?

The who, what, when, where, why and how of our many ministries here at St Nic’s Minster? You’ll find some amazing facts and information about our community life in this report. Read it – and get in the know!

FYI the only thing you won’t find in the report is the financials (income, expenditure and budget stuff) – they can only be done at the end of the year so they will be released separately in time for Part 2 (Finances & Budget) of the AMP Feb 24th 2019.

Hang a sec, I have a question…?

We like questions- they’re great for learning stuff! Unanswered questions are not so great. That’s why we love it if you submit your questions before the AMP. That way we can ensure your question gets answered. And who knows? Maybe someone else would really benefit from hearing your question answered!

So please, if possible, submit your questions by Nov 22nd!

Stay tuned for Step 4: Get in on the Action!

St Nic’s Snapshot: Presenting the marvellous Site Management Team

Wonderful things have been happening at St Nic’s! Parishioners have reported sightings of a group of men doing marvellous deeds around the church. Parking lines have been painted, pathways fixed, doors repainted, handles repaired and bookshelves assembled!

Who are these local heroes? Why our newly formed Site Management Team of course! Tony Wheeler, Trevor Freckleton, Struan Faed have joined Geoff Blechynden and have enthusiastically embraced the seemingly endless task of maintenance and repairs.

So busy are the boys we were unable to track them down for a group photo. “How did we ever find time to work?” wondered retiree Tony.

How indeed! Nonetheless we are extremely grateful and blessed by these men’s selfless service to our community. If you see them around, be sure to say hello and thank you!

AMP 2018/19 – Get Involved! Step 1: Get on the Roll!

On November 25th we will be holding our 2018/19 Annual Meeting of Parishioners.

This year the AMP will be delivered in two parts. Part 1, November 25th, covers Ministry Reports and the elections for church offices. This year we have vacancies for the office of Parish Councillors and a Warden. Part 2, February 17th, will look at our finances for 2018 and the budget for 2019.

But wait! Before you get all excited about being here for the AMP there’s

Step 1: Get on the Roll!

Make sure you are registered to vote on the Electoral Roll – complete and return a Schedule 9 Statutory Declaration to the church office by October 28th. You need to register every AMP. Please note your partner cannot witness for you- please ask another member of the congregation or see Sophie, Ian, Suzanne or Rev Jamie.

 

Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted on Steps 2-4. In the meantime, sign that Schedule 9!

 

 

St Nic’s Snapshot: Safe Church Workshop

We, at St Nic’s, are committed to ensuring we are a safe place for young and old.

Thank you to the many members of our church community and the Op Shop volunteers who joined us Saturday morning for morning tea, an informative chat and a spot of paperwork!

Special thanks to Lois our Safe Church Contact Person and Judy our Op Shop Coordinator who organised and helped cater for the day.

If you are yet to update or complete your paperwork, checks and training please contact Lois! You can find our more about our commitment to a Safe Church here.

Spring into September

Spring is here and there is plenty happening in September at St Nic’s! Read on to find out more.

Saturday 8th

Safe Church Updates Workshop (9am-11am) – it is essential all church workers and volunteers have their forms and training up to date. Those who completed theirs in 2014/15 are up for renewal. Morning tea provided. Venue: St Nic’s Church

Sunday 9th

Churches Together Prayer Meeting (6pm-7.30pm) – join us and other local churches to prayer together for our community and God’s kingdom. All welcome. Venue: St Nic’s Church.

Friday 14th

Finishing Life Well (9.30am-11.30am) – Have you thought about the things you need to put in place to ensure a worry free time for you and your loved ones in the latter stages of life?

Come along to a facilitated discussion with Jamie and Suzanne and sharing time on matters such as:

  • Wills
  • Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Health Directives
  • Enduring Power of Guardianship
  • Funeral Arrangements

All welcome. Morning tea provided. Venue: St Nic’s Church. Please RSVP by Wed 12th Sept (click here).

Saturday 15th

Mission Day at the Diocese (9.30am-2pm) – An enjoyable, interactive day, an opportunity to hear about things that are working well in the Diocese either for building up your congregation, or serving people who are not attending church; ideas you might like to try in your church.

Mission agencies are also invited to be there, set up a stall, and be available for arranging visits to your church.

With presentations by:
Alpha Revd Jamie Murray
3DM Carole Post
Godly Play Gabby Chadwick
Thy Kingdom Come Karen Dennison
Messy Church Rev Marion Prowse

BYO lunch. Tea and coffee provided. Venue: Year 7 Complex, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School. RSVP Wednesday 12th September Rev Marion Prowse 0428994564 or tmprowse@iinet.net.au

Fellowship as usual

Each week we have gatherings at our church for small groups, playgroups, craft groups, worship services and prayer meetings. We also have a fellowship meal on Wednesday’s 5.45pm-6.45pm. You are very welcome to join us. For a detailed list of weekly activities check out our What’s On page.

St Nic’s Snapshot: A week of wondrous work

Exciting changes are happening here at St Nic’s!

Small but Mighty…

On Wednesday, work on the historic church officially began! Praise God! This is the culmination of an incredible amount of work and dedication from the Heritage Church Committee. Congratulations and many thanks to Suzanne Saunders, Kerry Hawley, Wendy Dickinson and Ian Craig. Many thanks also to the Parish Council, the Heritage Council and Greg Meachem.
Check out the audio from the drive radio show and ABC’s online article that featured our little church earlier this week!

Let there be light…

You may have noticed things are looking a little brighter around here… The process of changing all our existing lighting to LED downlights has begun. This will help reduce costs both in terms of electricity and replacement costs as each globe is warrantied for 36,000 hours!
Speaking of power, last week our solar panels were installed by Brett and Mitch from Sunwise. This too, is an important step toward reducing our carbon footprint and reducing our power bills! In just 5 days our CO2 savings were 37kg—the equivalent of driving 245km in the car!
Thank you and congratulations to the Parish Council, Sunwise and Electrical Experts for making this possible.

Prayer & Praise: Blessing & Belonging

Sunday evenings are a joy for me. At 6pm at the church there is an informal, almost organic service of prayer and praise with members of our parish. I wish to encourage you to come and be a part of it. We are always blessed – and are becoming as a community of St Nicholas. The meeting fosters a real sense of belonging. We are greatly ‘lifted in Spirit’ in our praise and worship.

When I first went, I felt this was very good. I felt the Lord was calling me to be a part of it. Personally, I find it to be exciting. Something always happens- either then or later down the track. Every week we each receive a prayer from two people, without hearing what the other person is praying. This I find exciting as I wait to receive the results of those prayers.We pray for matters of the church and also the broader community. Sometimes we pray in pairs, at other times in smaller groups. We are seeing answers to prayer on various scales: personal, for the church and the ministry of the church. Hopefully, you have heard by now about the progress with the Shire for the Historic Church and the no parking signs.

We are able to believe that the Holy Spirit will move amongst us because we see it each week. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are being used as we pray – prophecy, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, speaking in tongues and healing.

Wonderfully, the children who are coming learn to pray and be prayed for. They are learning how to listen to the Holy Spirit; to believe that they too they belong in the church community, can behave in a spiritual manner – learn how to bless others, and be blessed themselves – and to become more mature in their faith.

Seeing answers to prayer is very exciting but for me, the best part of it is going there to pray with other people.

By Glory Kitson

Prayer & Praise, 6pm at the church. All Welcome.