As a baby boomer, I see differences between people in my generation and Millennials. I am the mom of two Millennials and have church conversations with them all the time.
With so many Millennials leaving the church, I want my young adults to continue to go, but the church needs to become more relevant to their lives. Actually, it needs to be more relevant to mine as well. I struggle with many of the same issues they do when it comes to church and daily living.
When I came across Rachel Held Evans’ blog post on CNN.com on why Millennials are leaving the church, I felt like she nailed it.
Like me, Millennials have plenty of opportunity to be entertained during the week and don’t want church as another performance to attend. They want to find Jesus, and feel like so much of what happens in church, misses Him.
It is the substance of the church that needs changing, not the style.
According to Rachel’s blog, Millennials want a church that…
1) Ends the culture wars.
2) Calls a truce between science and faith. (I’ve personally never understood the debate since God created all things. Science only confirms what He has created!)
3) Tells us what we stand for, not what we stand against. (How about more on love, unity and reconciliation.)
4) Where asking questions doesn’t always result in predetermined answers. (With my kids, I haven’t found easy answers, but we go back to Scripture and try to apply it to today, as well as, look at the life of Christ.)
5) Isn’t politically focused, but Kingdom focused. (Can I get an AMEN on that one!)
6) Isn’t American centric and considers the importance of all nations. (This doesn’t mean we don’t love our country, but we are not the center of the Universe.)
7) Welcomes LBGT friends. (I would add, loves them like Christ already does.)
8) Expands holiness beyond sexuality and considers it in relation to the poor, oppressed, creation care, peacemaking and reconciliation.
I suspect, as Rachel notes, that you don’t have to be a Millennial to resonate with this list. And please don’t misunderstand, I am not knocking churches that have an informal style, but substance matters.
In a world that is filled with uncertainty, I want my family to know Christ above everything else. How we present Him to all generations is important.