That sounds pretty pathetic doesn’t it? What kind of heathens comprise this generation? Are they truly the ever-texting Godless mongrels that mark the end of days?
Not so fast… Before we go ahead and step right up with a new list of labels, maybe we should ask ourselves some pretty serious questions first. Just how serious have we been in our effort to invite and welcome the millennials into our churches? Notice I wrote “our” churches, rather than “the” church? If you didn’t catch that tiny little word, you’re part of the problem folks.
In a recent think piece by Sam Eaton on faithit.com, “59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out – And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why” gives some perspective that I’d not fully considered. Some of that article I don’t happen to agree with. Not all of Sam’s conclusions are on point in my estimation, yet I can’t turn a blind eye to the number of questions, we as a congregation, simply haven’t asked. Some are pretty darned basic too. Why aren’t we then, asking the millennials what they’d like to see and experience from the church community? Frankly, we don’t care what they have to say.
I’m none too proud of that, but I have to wonder if that isn’t painfully obvious. We hold them in relatively low regard given their political views, work ethic, and moral flexibility. Don’t you hear that as common place among you when you discuss it? Think about it. When was the last time you listened to a story that elevated the millennial generation into good standing.
So… We want the younger generation to find God, but we really don’t care about them. Is that what we’re trying to balance here? I’ve got news for you. That dog won’t hunt. If we seriously want to share the Gospel with the younger generation, then we might be wise to ask them their thoughts on a few things first. After all, they have a unique perspective. Rather than coming into the time in their lives that are defined by greatness like so many prior to us, they’ve got a full generation ahead of them that wouldn’t define America as great. They roll up in church only to learn they’re baby murdering, Trump-voting, Clinton-loving, lazy, takers ready only to play a video game quickly followed by a nap. If that’s what you learned about yourself in church would you rush right back the next Sunday for another hefty dose of that?
I’d like to really consider this carefully. Maybe we’re approaching this all wrong. Why aren’t we asking these folks what they think? I’m not suggesting we turn church services into a circus, but we can certainly ask some questions. What things are helpful and what aren’t? It occurs to me that the most successful programs are run by somebody that identifies quickly and easily with those in the target arena. Maybe it’s time we put a millennial in charge of attracting or liaising with other millennials. How crazy is that? Not very…
Proverbs 11:14 – Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.
Maybe it’s high time we pay close attention to the people we are trying to share the Gospel with and include them on a base level. We should transition from “our” church into “the” church in terms of ownership. Jesus isn’t relegated to traditional castes is He? Last time I checked, He died for everyone’s sins. …Even millennials.
Be salt and light my friends…