How the Church Can Engage Millennials

The past weekend our pastor posed a question to the millennials in our congregation, how can the church better engage millennials? He challenged any millennial to send him and the church staff ideas about how to get this generation, my generation, more involved. Normally this isn’t something I would write about, but here I go, about to try.

To preface this post I am writing very broadly. I am not just writing in regards to my own local home church but to the body of christ universally. That being said here are my thoughts on how the church can engage millennials.

Please read, teach, and engage me in God’s word. My generation is used to seeing advertisements and gimmicks so show me something different on Sunday mornings. Show me the goodness and truths in scripture and help me apply it to my life. In a world that is constantly changing teach me about God being the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Read me scripture because I need to hear it. Encourage and challenge me to study scripture and learn at home because it will enhance what I am hearing on Sunday.

When I was little I remember starting out in the sanctuary with the entire congregation and then 20 minutes into the service being led to the children’s class. I am not sure when this exactly stopped happening, but from late elementary school on I can remember only being with my peers unless I begged my mom to let me come with her. As a mom of three young children I would love to bring my kids to a family style worship service a couple times a year. I want them to see other adults engaging in worship.

Don’t hold back. Be bold and preach on the hard topics. Help me see the biblical worldview in a culture that screams otherwise. I love theologically rich hymns that challenge me and allow me to mull over the words even after Sunday worship. Remind me of the gospel message over and over again. I am still dying to myself daily and need to be reminded of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Keep on creating opportunities for real face to face fellowship. My generation has grown up with technology. This has been both a blessing and a curse. Pornography is running rampant, the selfie has made us even more self aware, and I don’t even want to admit how many times my husband has had to retake a photo of me for this blog. Real fellowship and real community is what we crave and as much as we try to cultivate it online it will never replace how life giving and necessary real friendship is.

Speaking of technology, make sure that your church website is easy to navigate. If it is hard for me to find basic information such as service times, statement of beliefs, and the different ministries your church offers there is a good chance I won’t be coming for a visit. To get my generation in the door a simple website with this information is all you need.

When I really think about it, the major way the church can engage my generation is by sharing the gospel. Jesus brings life change. And that life change is what will get and keep millennials, like myself, more engaged in the church. So pastor, keep preaching from God’s word.

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What We Should Have Registered For (Baby Edition)

Several months ago I listed out what Josh and I should have put on our wedding registry if we could go back in time. Today I am sharing what I would ask for knowing what I know now when we were having our first baby. Here are my favorite nursery, feeding, bath, gear, and health/safety products for baby!

After 3 babies I feel like I have a fairly decent idea on what works (and doesn’t), what is needed, and what is a waste of money. Some of these items we did register for but most we didn’t and discovered them over the last 5 years.

Glider: They can be pricey but are so worth the money!

Swaddle Blankets/Sleep Sacks: There are lots of different types of these on the market. We bought the muslin swaddle blankets thinking we could swaddle our babies tight enough but it was a 50% chance that they would stay wrapped tight, which is why we ended up with the velcro saddles. I really like the muslin ones as baby grows and no longer needs to be swaddled.

Diaper Pail: Best diaper pail ever and your house won’t reek of dirty diapers.

White Noise Machine: We currently have 3 of these in our home and take them with us when we travel. I can’t sleep without mine now.

Blackout Curtains: The darker the room the better. These are great especially for those daytime naps and block out much of the extra light.

Bottles: I like these plastic and glass bottles.

Breast Pump: It is so nice that insurance covers these now! When I had Caden we had to buy our own. Check out Medela or Spectra brands and make sure to get a double pump. Be sure to purchase a pump bra too so you can be hands free!

High Chair: We have used this high chair that attaches to your table for all our kiddos. With our first we lived in a tiny townhouse that had little room in the kitchen so this worked perfect.

Infant Bathtub: For the teeny tiny new babes I love the puj tub! Once they outgrow that purchase a shunggle. It is hands down the best bathtubs for babes. Trust me I have tried several major brands it is my favorite and you won’t spend a fortune.

Carseats: Oh carseats! I could write an essay on you. We started with an infant carseat and then went to these convertible carseats. We still have and use both but if I was to do it all over again I would go with these because you can fit three of them across in the backseat of a van. This is one of those products that feels slightly overwhelming when you are purchasing because there are so many brands out there and different types.

Strollers: Before I had Caden one of my girlfriends told me she had 5 strollers in her garage and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why you would need 5 strollers. Well, I now understand why. Obviously the more kids you have the type of stroller you need changes and if you decide to go for a run that requires a different stroller then say a quick trip to the store, but seriously the stroller dilemma is real. If you are at all thinking about having two kids just buy a double stroller to begin with and save yourself some money.

Baby Wearing: I love this lightweight and easy to use wrap for newborns up to 3 months and the Ergo for up to 2+.

Pack n’ Play: We like our Joovy Room and have taken it on several trips.

Bouncer: In my opinion this is where you can save some serious money. Skip the frills and stick with a basic $20 bouncer. They are easy to move around the house and your baby doesn’t know the difference.

Play Mat: We have used this same play mat for all three of our babies and it is still in awesome shape even after going through the wash multiple times.

Humidifier: An item you don’t think about needing until your baby needs it. Those first sniffles and congested nose and chest can be rough so make sure you a humidifier. I like this cool/warm mist one. Also having some baby VICKS on hand to add to your little ones chest and feet is helpful too.

Baby Monitor: We have gone through several monitors and while I don’t think it is a necessary purchase a monitor with a video component is helpful so you don’t have to walk into your baby’s room and risk waking them up.

Owlet: While we don’t own of these I think they are worth mentioning for soon to be parents. Your baby wears the Owlet Smart Sock and it measures your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels and notifies you in real-time if something appears to be wrong. For peace of mind this item is worth the money.

Roomba: Once your baby starts crawling they will find any little thing and put it in your mouth. We don’t own this but this is an item I wish I would have bought years ago.

And there you have it. These items would make great gifts for any soon to be mamas you know!

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All Levels Total Body Workout

Once upon a time, several years ago, I started an online bootcamp. Some of you longtime readers may remember this or perhaps even joined in the fun. It had been awhile since I had looked at these workouts and I had forgotten how many I had. These workouts are sitting on my computer and I decided to use them for the next few weeks at home for my own workouts.

The all levels total body workout can adjust to your time available as well as fitness level. If you need a shorter workout you can follow the newbie option. Lots of ways to make this workout fit your needs.

I did the intermediate option this morning and it took me 40 minutes. I did circuit 1 twice, circuit 2 twice, circuit 3 twice, followed by 3 minutes of cardio. Let me know if you decide to try it and how you did!

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