So first an update on life: Chelsea and I are still employed, we have had record highs through most of February and it has been over 60 for more than a couple of days, there is little to no snow on the ground, Friday different models are predicting somewhere between 0 and 20 inches of snow, we have started making some super cool friends, we have less free time than previously anticipated.
So there’s some word vomit for a life update. Ta da!
Recently, there has been a article picking up steam and being posted by people everywhere. Its called the 59% of millenials are leaving the church….and here is the link http://faithit.com/12-reasons-millennials-over-church-sam-eaton/ So Here is my response:
ONLY 59% of Millennials are leaving the church??
I’m not sure that’s the response that you were looking for, but there it is. I’m shocked this number isn’t higher, by like 10-15%. I’m not sure that’s what my church planting, pastor, or parent friends want to hear, but I truly am shocked it isn’t a higher number.
So how else do I respond? Do I send an email asking the guy to check his work? Do I get angry and leave with them? Do I go out and start door knocking campaigns to ask people to come back? The suggestions all ask things of church leaders (aka church staff) to consider how to include our younger generation, see their perspective, own their needs. Here are my list of things that I would suggest are the most important since we seem to be a society that revolves around lists:
- Non-millennial Christians go to church! This seems like a no-brainer, but the other side of this coin is that there is a shocking (and again, not actually shocking) number of Baby Boomers who are leaving the church. Why? Their kids have outgrown the church. They have been hurt by church leadership. They found out that church is run by humans. Short story: Our pastor from home, Buddy, at Grace Marietta passed away last week and one of the things that he HARPED on was that you Reproduce who you are, not who want to be. The take-away: Baby Boomers go to Church. Here’s some encouragement: Hebrews 10:24-25, Psalm 78
- Church isn’t just Sunday, and it’s definitely not confined to single building. “But Justin, church meets Sundays at ** and ** time at this address.” I think I have heard at least 100 sermons in my life that “The church is not a building, but rather the people,” so at what point does that mean that church only happens for an hour a week at a specific building? In the Bible, people went to the Temple on the Sabbath: True. But they also met daily in their homes and met frequently outside of the building where the church was happening. (Acts 2: I’m a big fan, I will reference this frequently, community is UUUGE) And I’m not talking about programming (sorry church staff), I’m talking about meeting with a community of believers, non-required, in time that you set aside that you show the next generation that it is important.
- STOP SEPARATING EVERYONE! Okay so I get it, you want to be around like minded people, possibly the same age, same stage of life, whatever. So we have done this thing as a church where we separate into categories. I’m cool with a lot of it actually as one way to gather corporately. I like youth programs, I like college programs, etc, but let’s be honest, I’m having a really hard time finding in the Bible where followers of Christ split up into age groups. In several instances, we find that all ages were present: Jesus feeds the 5,000 (a little boy gave his lunch to feed grown men) Jesus corrects his Disciples in Matthew 19 and Says Let the Children come to me. So what does this mean? Get into multi generational places of community and worship. Let the children, teenagers, MILLENNIALS, see your faults, flaws, whatever, and learn.
This stuff stirs me up because this is my generation and I don’t want to see us whine about not having coffee shops or show-y stuffs. I’m begging the Christ followers ahead of us to to take their faith seriously “So that the Next Generation might know…” Psalms 78