Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Why we losing our generation of "Millennials" in Church.

-Only 2 in 10 Americans under 30 believe attending a church is important or worthwhile (an all time low)
-59% of millennials raised in church have dropped out
-35% of millennials have an anti-church stance
-Millennials are the least likely age group of anyone to attend church.
Despite the steep drop off in millennials. most church's seem to be continuing on with business as usual. Sure, maybe add a bowling night here or there but no one seems to be reacting with any level of concern that matches these STAGGERING statistics. Q: Where is the task-force searching for the lost generation? Where is the introspective reflection necessary when 1/3 of a generation is ANTI-CHURCH? I read a blog recently that offered solutions in chronological order: 1. Problem: Nobody is listening to us: Millennials value voice and receptivity above all else. Solution: create outlets: involve millennials in more regular leadership opportunities to serve the outside communities needs, opposed to creating an exclusive "clickish" hierarchy. Fraternities do a better job of this than many churches. 2. We are sick of hearing about values and mission statements: "Why does every church need its own mission statement anyway? Sweet Moses, people give it a rest. Jesus was insanely clear about our purpose on earth. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is love thy neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. "Love God, love others, task completed. Why does every church need its own mission statement anyway? Aren't we all one body of Christ serving one God? What would happen if the entire American church came together in our commonalities and used the same, concise mission statement?
The solution is simple. Stop wasting time on the religious, mambo jambo and get back to the heart of the gospel. If you have to explain your mission and values to the church, it's overly religious and too complicated. And when we enact "church membership" it becomes exclusive, and "cultish". Were not impressed with the hours you brag about spending behind closed doors wrestling with "Christianese" words on a paper. We're impressed with actions and service. Helping the poor has become not a priority anymore. Just clock the hours members spend in bible studies, meetings, groups, social functions, book clubs, church funding events vs....the hours spent serving the least of these........ugh awkward. If the numbers are not at least equal please check your bible for better comprehension "If our lives do not reflect radical compassion for others in need, there is cause to wonder if Christ is even in us at all" Lastly everyone is tired of the church blaming the culture. Perhaps its easier to focus on how terrible the world is out there than actually address the mess within. Put the "end times" rhetoric to rest and focus on real solutions and real impact in the immediate community while explicitly showing how our lives should differ from the mainstream cultures Example: Organize a group of millennials to visit the jailhouse once or twice a week and reach out to those people.
Most millennials want to be mentored not preached at. Preaching just doesn't reach our techno-savvy generation the same way it did our grandparents and great-grandparents. We have millions of podcast and YouTube videos for that reason the currency of good preaching is at its lowest value in history -- Millennials crave relationship, to have someone walking beside them through the muck. They are looking for mentors authentically invested in their lives, if we don't have real people who actually care about us, why not listen to a sermon from the couch with the ecstasy of doughnuts and sweatpants. Create a network base of mentors and younger millennial's looking for someone to talk with them about controversial issues, because people want to feel valued....Only then can real change to the public perception of the church as a whole begin to happen. I read Paul's blueprint in the New Testament on how a church should behave and I, in America...we aren't doing this.. We are failing at being the aroma of Christ because we've made it into an aroma of Doctrine, abandoned our spiritual moorings and drifted far from true religion which is described by James as this: looking after the orphans and widows in their distress, serving everyone in need regardless of culture, color, class or capactiy....end rant.

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