But here’s the thing: Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances. In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church, and evangelicalism in particular. Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions – Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. – precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.
What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance. We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against. We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers. We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.... We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.
You can’t hand us a latte and then go about business as usual and expect us to stick around. We’re not leaving the church because we don’t find the cool factor there; we’re leaving the church because we don’t find Jesus there.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Why Millenials are Leaving the Church
Though there must be Biblical practices and convictions that never change in our churches, there are a myriad of practices and strategies that should often change as we seek to contextualize our message to the culture in which we live. This is why I find Rachel Held Evans recent interview on CNN.com so interesting. Though I don't agree with some of her theological or social perspectives, in this article she shares some interesting thoughts regarding why millennials (I believe this age range includes those in their 20-30s) are leaving the church. As a pastor in a church that is largely millennial, many of her statements are consistent with what I've observed. Below is a portion of the article and you can read the entire thing here.