Marketing to the Last Generation

November 21, 2008 by

You’ve probably been to some church event with “next” in the title. Whether it’s “the leadership filter for what’s next in the church” or “the mega super definitive conference for the next-generation church bathroom.” We like to (over)market as focused on the next generation.

But that’s less than half the battle. Daily, we dialogue what an aging population means for social security, our own wallets and every aspect of life. Except church.

Well did you know Christianity Today has a blog called Building Adult Ministries? And they just ran an article entitled Is Your Church Senior Sensitive? taking a look at why churches overlook the older population and what they can do about it.

The “age wave” is rapidly approaching! Those churches that are not prepared will be swamped by the sheer numbers, diversity, and impact of these older adults. Of, if they are prepared, they will get out their surfboards and catch the ride of a lifetime!

Or, those seniors will like, totally stop coming! It won’t be the ride of a lifetime, it will be a disgraceful disconnect between the older generation and the younger generation. Your church will have to walk the fine line of communicating vision so older people understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and younger attenders understand the importance of hearing from an older, wiser generation.

It’s one of the big marketing problems on the church’s horizon. What is your church doing about it?

Post By:

Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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4 Responses to “Marketing to the Last Generation”

  • Daniel Murphy
    November 23, 2008

    We run three services every Sunday. The first service is a traditional hymns and choir kind of service. It’s our fastest growing service, having almost tripled in attendance in the last three years.
    The seniors in our community love it because it’s not a red-headed step-child service. We truly value that congregation. But they make sure to get out pretty fast before the rock starts during second service.

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  • Paul Wilkinson
    November 23, 2008

    Years ago, in a guest lecture I taught at YWAM in Canada, I suggested that part way through our various morning services, we have an opportunity for all the seniors to come to the front of the church, and we could pray for them, and then we could send them downstairs where they could have a story, milk, and cookies.
    Of course now I’m getting rapidly closer to becoming one of them.

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  • Benjamin Pfohl
    November 25, 2008

    The question really is how do you target utiple generations of people and actually keep them interested or be relevant to each? Think about it, at what other time in history have you had so many generations living at one time. WW2ers, babyboomers, gen Xers, gen Y’s and what ever they are calling the next group. That’s 5 generations to target.
    I’ve seen churches reach 2 (parents and children), but to get to 5 generations at once, while maintaining a standard of excellence will be a stretch.

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  • Matt Olds
    December 7, 2008

    This week we started turning down the volume of our 1st service…and then up 10dbs for the 2nd service. I’m honestly torn about it…but if this will help an older generation interact with God during the music/worship…I’m for it.
    We will see how it goes and what the response is…

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