When you think long term, you realize that you may need the next generation to partner with you in your ministry.
What’s the age range of those who financially support you?
Since many Millenials – or “emerging adults” – typically have loads of student debt and are entering a tough job market, it makes sense that they probably won’t be a large part of your financial support team.
Most people who partner financially with your ministry probably have the following characteristics:
- They have money to give.
- They have a consistent job that allows them to commit to monthly giving.
Most 23 year olds don’t have those characteristics.
So is there any hope for the future?
Remember, those who do currently have money and jobs were once young too! Student debt is a ballooning problem, though. So although millenials (hopefully) will eventually have money and jobs, student debt will delay their future giving.
Will Millenials Support you as a Missionary?
Young Evangelicals and Financial Giving: Is There Hope for the Future of Missions? is a webinar recording that is available at MissioNexus.org. <<Not affiliate links.>> Wheaton professor Lynn Cooper shared from her research that studied Millenial Evangelicals. You should go buy it, but here are just a few things that will help you.
- 71% of Millenials are interested in giving to churches/missions. (That’s good news!)
- The mission of the organization is key for Millenials.
- Make it easy for Millenials to give (check or debit card).
- A simple thank you card is great, and Millenials appreciate “low pressure” donor care. You don’t need to call them to thank them.
- Ask your current supporters to refer you to their Millenial children. Giving parents have a strong influence on the giving habits of their children.
What if you are a Sender, not a Goer?
If you are older than Millenials, then you need to teach them how to give regularly and generously to their church and missions. Don’t assume that they will learn this somewhere else.
If you serve on the missions committee at your church, intentionally get Millenials on the committee. Get those young people thinking big picture and able to see all of the hard work and resources that goes into a church sending missionaries.
If you are a Millenial, specifically ask an older member of your church to teach you how to give regularly and generously to the church and missions.
If you are a Millenial, seek to be on the missions committee. Most of those committees have older people who make “big money” decisions, and they also pray fervently. Seek to be in their presence to learn from them.