Olive Baptist's response to engaging more millennials

Shaun Pillay, from left, the new minister of evangelism and discipleship at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, and Pastor Ted Traylor talk with FBW Executive Editor Kevin Bumgarner.Like most pastors, Ted Traylor has been prayerfully considering how to keep more millennials engaged in the church.

I spent time recently with Dr. Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist in Pensacola, and he took the opportunity to introduce me to Shaun Pillay, his new minister of evangelism and discipleship. He wants Shaun to spend a lot of time with what he calls the under-40 crowd at Olive.

I asked Shaun what that group is looking for when it comes to engaging with the church, and here’s what he had to say: “The millennial group [wants] to be invited to a mission. They want to be invited to do something hands-on.”

Specifically, Shaun said millennials want to be part of something vibrant, part of something authentic and part of something that is sacrificial.

“They want transcendence,” Shaun said. “They want to be challenged to something here and now, with a fake detector in their pocket.

“I think the millennials [are] challenging the church today to really be the people of God. And if you keep on preaching the depth of the Gospel it’s what’s going to reach the millennials—like generations past the Gospel reached them. The Gospel will reach the generation now, and also invite them to a greater mission, and that is to reach their neighbor.”

Earlier this week, I blogged about Dr. Traylor’s secret sauce for helping visitors to Olive feel special. Here’s the link: http://gofbw.com/blog?id=1584. Then I blogged about his thoughts on supernatural living and personal revival. You can get that post here: http://gofbw.com/blog?id=1588. Most recently, I wrote about Dr. Traylor’s commitment to helping young pastors. You can find that here: http://gofbw.com/blog?id=1593

If you come back to this blog I’ll be sharing more of Shaun’s thoughts about millennials and the church.

A video of my conversation with Dr. Traylor will appear on goFBW.com later this month, and an edited version of our conversation will appear as the “Behind the Pulpit” feature in the April print edition of the Florida Baptist Witness, which will be mailed to subscribers on March 30th.

Kevin Bumgarner is executive editor of the Florida Baptist Witness. He can be reached via email at kbumgarner@goFBW.com, and followed on Twitter @FBW_editor

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