Dino Rizzo

As a 35-year veteran of ministry, Dino Rizzo knows a thing or two about engaging with people and sharing with them the message of Jesus. Yet, even he has recognized that, in order to reach today’s younger generations, church leaders need to take a different approach.

As the co-founder of Healing Place Church with his wife DeLynn, and as executive director of ARC (Association of Related Churches), Dino Rizzo has crossed paths with many different people all over the world. While the ultimate message that he helps deliver to all people is the same — that Jesus is great, and that serving is something that should be done every day — the approach to reaching the next generation is slightly different.

Here’s how church leaders can engage with millennials and Gen Z through church planting.

Commit to the Community

Younger generations want to feel a connection to their local community. That may seem counterintuitive when you think that these are people who grew up with advanced technology in their hands, allowing them to connect with whomever they want from across the world whenever they want.

Yet, it’s this access to technology that actually has made younger generations desire bigger local communities. Luckily for Dino Rizzo, the organizations he helps lead are hyper-focused on local communities and giving back.

Church leaders who want to engage with millennials and Gen Z need to create a committed community at their church. This means one that meets on a regular basis, has intentions behind what it does, and makes sacrifices for the good of others.

Church planting is a great way to do all of this while also spreading the word of Jesus to new people in new places.

Challenge Them

In too many aspects of life, younger generations believe they are being “babied” by those older than them. They feel that they are being handled with kid gloves, which acts as a kind of insult, in a way.

Church leaders can counter this by challenging millennials and Gen Z to dive deeper into the Bible, to not only read Scripture but to discuss it, break it down, talk about it, and apply it to their lives and others in unique ways.

This is something that Noah Herrin and his wife Maddy are trying to do as they plan to launch their new Way Church in Nashville, Tennessee, in August of 2023. The couple has often said that teaching younger generations about the Bible is a great way to engage with them and ensure that they not only come to one of your services, but become life-long members of your church community.

Embrace Their Passion

Dino Rizzo says that younger generations are very passionate. Sometimes, this can be intimidating for older generations, but it shouldn’t be.

Church leaders should take a different approach to all the energy and excitement that millennials and Gen Z bring to the table, and embrace the passion that they bring to ministry. If you do, you’ll be engaging with them in new ways, and improving your overall church community in the process.

About Dino Rizzo

Dino Rizzo, a 35-year ministry veteran, co-founded Healing Place Church with his wife, DeLynn, where he served as senior pastor for two decades. Through his passion for inspiring believers to serve their communities, Dino Rizzo founded Servolution and authored “Serve Your City.” As Executive Director of ARC (Association of Related Churches), Rizzo oversees the planting of over 1,000 churches worldwide and is on the Senior Leadership Team at Church of the Highlands.