The recent political climate in the U.S. has become absolutely polarizing, on issues ranging from immigration to gun control to women’s health. A huge factor in these fierce political debates is the candidate’s’ use of religion to fuel their arguments. For African Americans, this along with how the candidates handle the issues of social/racial injustices are important for the upcoming political races of 2016. Whether or not they agree with their points, many voters have been turned off by politicians bringing their theological doctrines to the debates. For Black Millennials especially, trusting a politician who preaches can be a little out of their wheelhouse, and the recent political climate has soured many young African Americans on the concept of organized religion altogether. How is the church going to win back the hearts of the younger generation? How can they compete with the emergence of black pride again? Below are some recent trends in church outreach for the upcoming year.
Get Out in the Community
Knowing and serving the community is the top way to initiate an outreach mission for the church. People in general respond to actions far more than they respond to words, and serving our community is the best way to spread the word and show the public what RNS-BLACK-CHURCH cmakes your church unique. The public can frequently view the church as a place that constantly seeks funding, tithing and donations. Rather than viewing the church in this light, public service will show the world that the church truly serves the community, rather than merely asks things of it.
A Ministry Through Sports
One of the best ways to bring people together is through sports. Basketball, football and softball games are always hallmarks for black churches. During the semifinals of any sports competition, you can find individuals enjoying each other’s company who otherwise wouldn’t give each other the time of day. Sports will always foster a bonds between individuals that makes them feel like they are part of something greater. Our black Church is supposed to do that, too. Many high school or community sports teams enlist a chaplain. Get your church involved and see if your pastor or an elder can participate in the community in that capacity. A growing familiarity within the community will lead to an increased congregation in your church.
These days, there is no denying the huge impact social media has on our daily lives. For the twitter landscape, black twitter dominates the social media platform. While almost everyone engages with social media in some capacity, the 16 to 35 year old portion of the population thrives on it. A recent viral trend is sharing photos of clever or funny church signs. Opting for humorous and positive messages rather than gloomy ones is a surefire way to get black Millennials to take note, and is great for exposure. Look to the way international on twitter as a great example of positive messages being shared through social media and embracing a wide audience.
Serve Your Community Breakfast
Team up with your local YMCA or neighborhood park to hold a community breakfast once a month. Our black community reels off of these things so supporting local organizations that already support the community is an excellent way to reach a large, diverse and new group of people. Inserting your church’s presence into a community’s regular lives will create a positive connection to you and the local population. The more they see members of your congregation out serving the community, the more likely they will be to remember you and want to join your organization. Spreading your message through actions will attract the most followers.
Source: ThyBlackMan | Brad Washington