Reaching the Buster Generation

This is a continuation of my previous post on Ministering to the Buster Generation.


The stats are interesting. In 2001, 33% of those ages 18-29 attended church, (compared to 40% of those ages 30-64 and 52% of those ages 65-74). So how does today’s church design a strategy for reaching unchurched Busters? Gary McIntosh (One Church Four Generations) suggests five concepts the church must keep in mind, (the author elaborates but you can brainstorm the possibilities under each point). 

1.   Physically, nothing captivates Busters more than sports and fitness.

2.   Relationally, nothing captivates Busters than friends and family.

3.   Mentally, nothing captivates Busters more than entertainment and music.

4.   Socially, nothing captivates Busters more than improving the environment.

5.   Spiritually, nothing captivates Busters more than a search for serenity.


While one-size-fits-all does not fit the Buster generation, there are some keys to reaching them. Each church must determine if they are Buster-centered, Buster-friendly or Buster-hostile. Consider these ideas in becoming more Buster-centered (like saying, “welcome, we’ve prepared this experience just for you”).

·     Play down titles and use first names.

·     Eliminate churchy words like foyer, vestibule and sanctuary and replace them with platform, lobby and auditorium.

·     Provide excellent child-care facilities.

·     Explain everything you do, so they have some idea of what’s going on.

·     Use a style of music that they would listen to on the radio.

·     Dress casually.

·     Remodel the church to reflect contemporary colors, rather than outdated.

·     Install equipment that Busters expect: computer and multimedia projector.

·     Don’t call attention to guests, but welcome visitors as a group and invite them to sit back and enjoy the service, directing them to a welcome center in the lobby.


Not only can the church value Busters, but other things can be done to reach this generation:

·     Start a new worship experience designed for them.

·     Make a good first impression.

·     Keep things relaxed.

·     Be positive: help Busters to see the joy in serving Christ.

·     Use a response card rather than asking them to come forward after a service.

·     Start a drama ministry or a video production team.

·     Preach “how-to” messages.

·     Establish new ministries.

·     Teach life skills.

·     Provide parafamily structures: small groups, sports teams, task oriented committees.

·     Be involved in the community.

·     Stress marriage and family.

·     Communicate your vision with practical results of your ministries.

·     Offer time and space since their pilgrimage may last longer than others: they are the first post-Christian generation who lack a Christian foundation; they carry hurts that need healing before they can move to another place in their lives; they learn by experimenting and they are predisposed to thinking that church is irrelevant.

The main thing for Busters is relationships, purpose in life and personal healing… wow, healing hurts and building bridges. What a great task for the church! 

Spread the Community, Faith, Love

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