Yesterday we looked at an article that showed that millennials were dropping out of church, and they were telling us why. A Barna survey shows that 59% of millennials who were raised in church have dropped out.
This is an important issue. I am not trying to be sarcastic or flippant in any way. You can tell that I don’t fully agree with the conclusions of the author of this article as far as the solutions are concerned, but we are definitely facing a problem. We are losing our our youth. This was the same problem I saw in England and why England is a mission field today. This is why I served over there as a missionary for many years.
They failed to reach their youth, they failed in the homes, failed to make the Word of God relevant in the lives of young people. At this time, less than 2% of the British people go to church on a regular basis. In the US and Canada, we are quickly moving to those same statistics. This is a problem we need to address.
Here is what the millennials tell us about why they are leaving. We covered the first 9, which I will just list, and will pick it up at number 10.
1. Nobody’s Listening to Us
2. We’re Sick of Hearing About Values & Mission Statements
3. Helping the Poor Isn’t a Priority
4. We’re Tired of You Blaming the Culture
5. The “You Can’t Sit With Us” Affect:
6. Distrust & Miss-allocation of Resources
7. We Want to Be Mentored, Not Preached At
8. We Want to Feel Valued
9. We Want You to Talk to Us About Controversial Issues (Because No One Is)
10. The Public Perception
The neighbors, the city and the people around our church buildings should be audibly thankful the congregation is part of their neighborhood.
In other words, we need to get more involved in our community. This is another one that I would agree with. Not all of the solutions in this article are wrong. I am thankful that State Farm Insurance is a good neighbor, but the best neighbor ought to be the local church. This is why I started a Good Neighbor program at the church. It reached out to the community and asked how we could help our neighbors. We had teams that would go and meet the needs of our community. It helped us know our community better. Of course we need to take the Gospel with us when we do this. Jesus would often meet a physical need so He could impart a spiritual truth.
11. Stop Talking About Us (Unless You’re Actually Going to Do Something)
Despite the stereotypes about us, we are listening to phrases being spoken in our general direction. Lip service, however, doesn’t cut it. We are scrutinizing every action that follows what you say (because we’re sick of being ignored and listening to broken promises).
They say they don’t want lectures, they want help. I remember having some frustrations like this. I wished someone would stop telling me what to do, and start telling me how. This may be what they are saying.
I also think they are saying, Ppractice what you preach. Hypocrisy is a problem, and it does drive many people away, especially if our children see hypocrisy in us parents. This probably drives more children away from following Christ than anything else.
12. You’re Failing to Adapt
Here’s the bottom line, church—you aren’t reaching millennials. Enough with the excuses and the blame; we need to accept reality and intentionally move toward this generation that is terrifyingly anti-church.
The millennials are blaming the church because it is not changing to do things their way. I think it is the millennials that need to accept the blame for their failings and step up. Parent’s need to parent better and teach their kids more responsibility. There needs to be more tough love.
My over all perception of this issue is summed up in the following passage:
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
I believe we are living in the last days. I believe that the church is in decline, just as predicted in Scripture. The power of God is lacking in many (most) of our churches. We are in the time of the falling way, and the Antichrist will soon show up.
Millennials are the generation of “me.” Time Magazine published an article in 2013 titled, “Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation.” It says that millennials are lazy, entitled, narcissistic, selfish, and shallow and still live with their parents. Let me quote some from the article.
Here are some broad descriptions about the generation known as Millennials: They’re narcissistic. They’re lazy. They’re coddled. They’re even a bit delusional.
Those aren’t just unfounded negative stereotypes about 80 million Americans born roughly between 1980 and 2000. They’re backed up by a decade of sociological research. The National Institutes of Health found that for people in their 20s, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is three times as high than the generation that’s 65 or older. In 1992, 80 percent of people under 23 wanted to one day have a job with greater responsibility; ten years later, 60 percent did. Millennials received so many participation trophies growing up that 40 percent of them think they should be promoted every two years – regardless of performance. They’re so hopeful about the future you might think they hadn’t heard of something called the Great Recession.
Here are some comments I have received about this article:
Missionary Patrick McClure to Brazil — The article is sorely lacking in Biblical support,…… Many of this generation should be called “me”-llennials, because that is where their focus lies (as is true of any generation, but without the catchy wordplay). Solid exposition of the Word of God coupled with practical living of the Word, not public opinion, should sort out where churches are going wrong.
Dawn Schlenz replied…from Indiana said…“We should not be so concerned about what church can do for us but what we are doing for Christ! Millennials of the past were not concerned about coffee sipping groups but were fearlessly on fire going into their world changing the church and setting the world upside down for Christ! Read the histories of Mary Slessor,Charles Finley,John And Charles Wesley ,Borden of Yale ,David Livingston so many more-they were all young people not content to blame the church but getting their hands busy as soldiers in God’s army and what a difference they made!”
Pastor Mark Harrell from the Carolinas said– I agree with the article 100%!!!!! So many are missing the point of the article … and if it needs to be explained then …. well …. that’s the problem, isn’t it.
Comment by Pastor Scott Hooks from North Carolina said— The author has many ideas and thoughts concerning the church, but few (if any) of which come from the Word of the One who established it. One example is his point that preaching is outdated and ineffective. Paul charged Timothy to preach the Word. We should let the Bible shape our thoughts about church not a self appointed spokesman for the millennial generation or our own selfish opinions.
I hope this was an eyeopener for you. We would like to hear from you on this subject. You can call us at 1-800-616-0082, my email is [email protected]
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