CNLP 040: Churches That Reach Millennials–An Interview with Geoff Surratt

Of all the questions facing the church, how to reach Millennials is one of the most pressing.

Author and church planting expert Geoff Surratt, shares how some churches are becoming effective at reaching millennials using widely different methods.

Welcome to Episode 40 of the Podcast.


Guest Links: Geoff Surratt 

Seacoast Church

Geoff Surratt on Twitter

Links Mentioned in this Episode

John Stickl; Episode 29

David Kinnaman; Episode 24

Churchless: Understanding Today’s Unchurched and How to Connect with Them


The Orange Tour

Saddleback Church

Rick Warren

MOPS International

Andy Stanley

Perry Noble

Steven Furtick

Ethos Church

Dave Clayton

Flatirons Community Church

Tony Morgan


3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Millennials are engaging and walking away from the church in intense levels. What are the trends among millennials? What are the patterns? Geoff Surratt has been spending time with the dynamic demographic and the churches that are successfully reaching out to them. Here’s his insight:

  1. Understand how radically different the world of a Millennial is. Technology has accelerated the way we’ve consumed media over the past decade. Take Blockbuster, for example. It used to be the place you go every Friday night to get a movie, but Nextflix and RedBox put video stores out of business. Similar trends are being seen in churches. Millennials can download a podcast from church leaders all over the world and receive spiritual fulfillment without stepping foot in a church. Additionally, social media allows millennials to socialize within groups and pages, so they don’t need the face-to-face interaction they would get at church.
  2. Engage Millennials rather than simply trying to attract them. Millennials don’t commit to a single church, company or career. They don’t think about working for one company for 20-30 years. They’ll work until it stops being fulfilling. Similarly, they’ll go to Church A for one thing, Church B for another and Church C for something else. And that makes sense to them. The place you start is by asking how can you regularly connect with millennials, understand what are they thinking, what do they aspire to, what terrifies them, what bores them? Then, find ways to invite them into the change at your church. You can’t change to attract millennials; you have to engage millennials to change the church. Boomers may call it selfish, but it’s a passion to want to make a difference.
  3. Let millennials lead. Some pastors are letting millennials lead at higher capacities than they’re actually capable of. Not only are they wanting to listen to millennails, they want millennials to lead, and they’re eager to do so. It’s difficult to hand it off, but to hand it off to people that young is a huge piece of what has to happen next. There’s a church of about 3,000 in Nashville that says the average age of people they’re reaching is 28. They meet at a variety of country music venues and have no formal setup. Geoff says the church has a 24-year-old kid leading a “small” group of 600, and although it gets messy, he’s leading, and millennials are listening.

Quotes from Geoff

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Next Episode: Daniel Decker

So you or your church wants to establish a bigger platform to increase your audience or reach…but how do you do it effectively without coming across as selfish?

Daniel Decker has helped authors reach the NYT best seller list and helped many leaders, churches and businesses build their platforms without compromising their character.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 41.

In the meantime, got a question?

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CNLP 040: Churches That Reach Millennials–An Interview with Geoff Surratt


  1. Nick Eiden on January 11, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Geoff mentioned a book coming out in 2016. Did that happen? What’s it called?

  2. jonperrin on June 16, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Great podcast. Defining the Millennial generation is a lot like hitting a moving target, but Geoff gives some great insights. Thanks for continuing to allow us to listen in on these conversations.

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