The Danish Lutheran Church of Vancouver, B.C.

President’s Report

I have asked this question for years. It is becoming more important to understand the individuals that fit into this statistical gap we call “Millennials” and the effect they have on our church.

“Where have all the young men/women gone?” as the song asks. Where have all the young people gone from the church? We live in an intense time of technological change. As I write this report, I realize that the average age of our church is not from the Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) but more from the Silent Generation (1925 – 1945). This means we are trying to span multiple generations to reach Millennials (1980 –1994) and Gen Z (1995 – 2012).

There are valid reasons for few Millennial age Danes coming to the church regularly. Millennials have grown up in a connected world. They are less about in-person or face-to-face contact with others and more about connecting via smart phones and social media. They are less into reading books and more about searching the  Internet. They would just as easily stream a current movie than go to a movie theatre. They are more comfortable being part of an online social group and have less desire to physically engage with diverse social groups like they would find in the church.

In this church, we have, on any given Sunday, mostly Silent Generations, Baby Boomers, and some Generation X people. We do NOT have the generation attending our church that will soon start to run this world or help sustain the Danish Lutheran Church of Vancouver, specifically Millennials and Generation Zs.

Thanks to the generous donation of Granly, that closed its doors because of this very problem, we have the opportunity to try and change things. Earlier this year we hired a Cultural Family Coordinator with a very specific five year plan to bring in more Millennials and Gen Z people. The goal for this first year is to develop a framework for reaching out to the younger crowd and start to build momentum. Year two – four have specific goals as to what we want to see happening in the Church with younger people. By year five the goal is to have many of our programs run solely by young people going forward, working along-side current volunteers to help exchange knowledge.

Best wishes for 2024!
Robert Taylor, President | president@danishchurch.vancouver.bc.ca

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