Churches throughout the nation are in the midst of a crisis. How can they attract new members, particularly younger millennial members? It doesn’t help that many of that generation are openly antagonistic toward the church, so just what are churches supposed to do?
In a post over at Fathit.com, a millennial decided to explain just why his generation isn’t interested in filling the pews on Sunday mornings.
Despite the steep drop-off in millennials, most churches seem to be continuing on with business as usual. Sure, maybe they add a food truck here or a bowling night there, but no one seems to be reacting with any level of concern that matches these STAGGERING statistics.
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?
The truth is no one has asked me why millennials don’t like church. Luckily, as a public school teacher, I am highly skilled at answering questions before they’re asked. It’s a gift really.
So, at the risk of being excommunicated, here is the metaphorical nailing of my own 12 theses to the wooden door of the American, Millennial-less Church.
The list of reasons includes some interesting food for thought, such as a failure in many churches to value what younger members may think and a failure to focus on serving the less fortunate.
There’s plenty there for religious institutions to consider if they want to attract or keep millennial members.
However, there’s something missing.
While the author’s focus on “the least of these” is both admirable and biblical, it’s important to remember that churches exist for more than just serving the poor. They also are responsible to their members. While the author laments churches renting bouncy houses, keep in mind that these are often used to entertain kids who will also be learning God’s word.
Spreading Christ’s message is also a primary focus of any church, especially small churches with minimal resources to directly impact the needy.
Charity is something that all churches should be engaged in. If they’re not, then it’s a symptom of a problem at that church. It is not something that’s infecting Christianity as a whole so far as I can tell, and if it is, that’s an issue that’s far from generational. All people of faith should take issue with that and demand serious changes.
Still, it’s useful to get some perspective from different people about the issues they see in the church, particularly the younger people who will be so important to a church’s long-term growth.
It’s just important to remember that a church’s mission is to spread the Lord’s word. While good works help with that, it should never overshadow our commitment to our Lord and Saviour.