18 Church Trends (and More!): Trend 18+

Completing my highly derivative series on church trends are observations from Chris Martin.

Trend 18+ are a series of trends Martin found in the recently released Gallup survey.

  • 68% of ALL U.S. adults use Facebook.
  • 56% of 18-29-year-olds use auto-deleting apps (mostly Snapchat).
  • 59% of 18-29-year-olds use Instagram.
  • 36% of 18-29-year-olds use Twitter.
  • Overall, Facebook is, and will continue to be, king of the social media world.

As a church leader, what conclusions do you draw about church?

Obviously enough, you need to have a Facebook presence. In fact, you can likely communicate more effectively through Facebook than through direct email.

If your teens are coming home from camp, there should be a Facebook post telling parents what time to pick them up. You can put it in the church calendar on the church website, too — but the parents likely won’t check the calendar. Facebook will get the word out more effectively — especially if the bus has broken down (it is a church bus, after all) and the kids will be late.

Remind members of the new sermon series, the new class schedule, the new opportunity to buy Christmas for indigent children, the new opportunity to buy school supplies for kids in poverty, all those announcements that fill the bulletin (which only half the members read) can be made on Facebook — and more people will read and respond. Do the bulletin announcement, too — but Facebook works.

I know of some churches that have custom smartphone apps. These apps include the prayer list, schedule, notices of changes, the ability to donate or pay for the teen summer trip, all right there on the phone. The church no longer prints a bulletin — saving thousands of dollars and avoiding all kinds of waste.

Join the electronic age. It’s not expensive. Your members will appreciate your courtesy in making it easy. I mean, how much easier is it to have a hospital visitation list already on your phone, with contact information and hospital room number, updated in real time, vs. carrying around last week’s bulletin that was three days out of date when passed out?

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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