CNLP 236: Jonathan Pokluda on The Keys To Reaching and Influencing Tens of Thousands of Millennials Every Week

Everybody wants to do what God has allowed Jonathan Pokluda to do, but few do it. Jonathan Pokluda leads the Porch, the largest young adult ministry in America that reaches thousands live every Tuesday night, and 50,000 to 100,000 young adults via podcast and other platforms. JP talks about the keys to reaching, understanding, influencing and deploying young adults in the church and in corporate America.

Welcome to Episode 236 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Welcome to Adulting | The PorchWatermark

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Awaken Conference – Memorial Day Weekend 2019

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The Art of Better Preaching

Embracing Obscurity

3 Insights from Jonathan

1. Millennials want authentic communication 

Many assume that getting the attention of millennials requires catering to their neediness by putting together a big show or trying to be someone you’re not, but JP disagrees with these ideas to the fullest. Here are his top 3 thoughts on what millennials really want from your church or organization.

Lead with Authenticity – Be yourself. Don’t try to imitate their generation or be a cookie cutter replica of other successful groups similar to yours. Be humble and don’t boast about how great you are. Be honest about your mistakes and don’t pretend you have it all together.

Expand their Vision – Millennials want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, they just need to know what that is. There’s no need to water down the message or vision. Trust that they can handle the full scope of God’s plan and guide them through what that big picture can look like for them in their lives.

Deploy Them – Ministry is meant to happen through people, not to people. Millennials are fine with big asks as long as those asks are for things that truly matter. Once they understand the message, show them how they can use their gifts and send them out to change the world.

2. Be patient with the generation coming up behind you 

There’s no question this younger generation is growing up with challenges people before them never experienced. No one can deny the impact of this digital age and the emotional challenges it brings, but beyond having phones, Google, and social media at their fingertips, the personality gaps between today’s generations are not as far apart as many make them out to be.

Generation X, Y, and Z may come across as entitled and narcissistic, but hasn’t every generation struggled in these areas? Take it all the way back to the days of Jesus. The number one question his disciples wanted to know was who was the best…who was the greatest.

Older generations are the first to complain about the personality flaws found in millennials. JP calls it the Older Brother Syndrome – when an older generation loses it’s patience for the generation rising up behind them, because they’ve forgotten the patience that was offered to them years ago. Give patience and seek out understanding when it comes to the generation rising behind you. Their really not that different from you, so be a student of them and they’ll seek to be a student of you.

3. Casting vision to young volunteers creates a deeper call for ministry

One of the biggest mistakes an organization can make is thinking the only way to attract younger volunteers is by making jobs very easy for them when they show up – giving them small tasks that require little responsibility. Simply asking volunteers to show up isn’t going to attract younger people. Even if it works at first, it won’t keep them coming back long term.

The next generation wants to know that what they do matters, so there needs to be a vision alongside the ask. For example, a greeter is so much more than a body standing at the entrance of a room. So cast vision and let volunteers know that the deeper role of a greeter is to be a front line pastor who sets the tone for first impressions. Once that vision is cast, train and prepare the volunteers and let them have ownership in the roles. They’ll respond to you calling them to something bigger than themselves.

Quotes from Episode 236

If we're not reaching the future of the church then our church has no future. @JPokluda Click To Tweet The next generation are crazy enough to think that they can change the world and courageous enough to do it. @JPokluda Click To Tweet If humility is the goal then humiliation is the path. @JPokluda Click To Tweet If you're leading in any organization where people are gonna be tempted to worship you, continue to point and project that worship where it was intended. @JPokluda Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 236

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Solve the Problems Most Leaders Miss: Didn’t See It Coming Will Help

If you want practical help overcoming some of the biggest challenges leaders face, my new book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That Nobody Expects and Everyone Experiences tackles the seven core issues that take people out: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and the emptiness of success and provides strategies on how to combat each.

I wrote the book because no 18 year old sets out to be cynical, jaded and disconnected by age 35. Yet it happens all the time.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s what top leaders are saying about Didn’t See It Coming:

“Seriously, this may be the most important book you read this year.” Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor, Central Church

“Powerful, personal, and highly readable. ” Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor, Hillsong

“Whatever challenge you’re facing, whatever obstacle you’re hoping to overcome, whatever future you dream or imagine, there is something powerful for you here.” Andy Stanley, Founder, North Point Ministries

“Uncommonly perceptive and generous…You have to read this book.” Ann Voskamp, NYT bestselling author

“Masterful.” Reggie Joiner, CEO Orange

“Deep biblical insight, straightforward truth, and practical wisdom to help you grow.” Craig Groeschel, Pastor and NYT bestselling author

“This book is sure to help you.” Daniel H. Pink, NYT bestselling author

Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author

“Nieuwhof’s book provides expert guidance…with an accuracy that pierces the heart.” Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc.

“A refreshingly transparent guide for all leaders in a wide variety of industries.” Bryan Miles, Co-Founder and CEO, BELAY

You can learn more and get your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here.

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Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

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Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Ed Stetzer

There’s no question everything is changing in culture and the church and few people have their finger as tightly on the pulse as author, blogger and thinker Ed Stetzer. In this wide-ranging interview, Ed talks about the culture war and why Christians are losing, how to use your social media voice, how the culture continues to change and what’s next for the future church.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 237.

CNLP 236: Jonathan Pokluda on The Keys To Reaching and Influencing Tens of Thousands of Millennials Every Week


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    Thanks for another great, challenging, and insightful interview Carey!

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