July 31, 2013 - God

At last we have the answer to the question—Why are Millennials Leaving The Church?

millennials-least-religious-group-in-american-history copy, church kids, abandon

The last thing I want to do is stereotype millennials. Some of the most incredible, God-fearing, productive, genuine people I know fall into that group. That includes my three children and their spouses, for whom I have the utmost respect. I am not referring to such millennials in this article.

So what is it we’re doing to chase them from our churches? You might find this interesting.

In her CNN blog of July 27th, Rachel Held Evans explains how she and other millennials,

. . . perceive evangelical Christianity to be too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Ms. Evans goes on to say that Generation Y-er’s (millennials) are leaving the church because they can’t find Jesus there.

She claims that her generation is not fooled by current deceptive church practices, and that millennials want more than a latte in the church lobby or a hip church band.

Instead, they want to be able to ask questions that don’t have, what she refers to, as pre-determined answers.

Millennials also want their LGBT friends to be comfortable in the faith community. I am not certain if that implies we condone their sin, or avoid the topic of their sin, or tell them it doesn’t matter how they chose to live their lives. If it does, that’s a problem.

Is it a problem for me? That really doesn’t matter. The important question is, is it a problem for God. That’s where Scripture comes in. If millennials want to ask questions for which they can develop new answers that fit their theology, the slope could not possibly be more slippery.

Questions that are answered in Scripture would have to be considered those with pre-determined answers. When speaking of the Bible, is Ms. Evans suggesting we rethink Scripture’s absolute truth?

Perhaps God’s Word is something the new-thinking, smarter-than-anyone-else in history generation doesn’t find applicable anymore (not all millennials, just the entitlement cohort) viewing Scripture as antiquated verbiage from an outdated God.

If you are searching for a religion that condones sin based on social trends, avoids confrontation of sin to prevent feelings of guilt or conviction, and coddles a generation’s wishes so they can feel good about showing up and getting involved, don’t come to my church.

Throughout history, each generation has believed itself smarter than all others, mocking its elders as blind and ignorant.

One characteristic distinct to new age millennials (not millennials in general) is the arrogance that accompanies a growing sense of entitlement.

According to Ms. Evans, millennials don’t want to be judged, or preached to, or told what to do. But—they want Jesus? I hate to be the one to point out the obvious—but Jesus is the one who has the authority to do the judging and preaching and convicting. And he will. He tells us so in His Word.

Generation Y has something that Ms. Evans refers to as highly sensitive BS meters, not easily impressed with consumerism or performances.

I would be less eager to post that statement if I worked for CNN, the far-left liberal media standard, consumed with consumerism and performance.

If your goal is to skip out on church—just do it. But don’t sling garbage about not finding Jesus there and blaming everybody in church for your absence or refusal to get involved. It’s easy to sit home while others do the work. That hypocrisy has been around for two thousand years. My BS meter works well too. It’s been around longer, and it’s heard it all before.

It’s not your pastor’s job to get your life in order. It’s not your parent’s job to make you feel warm and fuzzy about serving God. It’s your job to get your heart right with Jesus, and you need to find the time to do it.

Mocking the world around you for how ignorant you think it is, is easy. You can grind out blog after blog about how your church isn’t living up to your generation’s expectations. But if you’re not trying to spread the Gospel and establish your life with Christ, you’re wasting your time.

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says,

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

This command is for each of us without exception. You can blame your failure to do so on the church, but the fact is, it’s on you.

If you want things to be different, show up and get involved. Lot’s of other millennials have been risking their lives for the Gospel for years. They haven’t been whining that the pastor hasn’t come to their house to find out what he can do to get them back.

I have been privileged to work with some of the most incredible young adults on the planet. Most of them are God-fearing millennials—not excuse-generating millennials. They travel into the African bush with me, surrounded by mud, bugs, snakes, and disease as they carry medicine and the Gospel to a lost world. They enter parts of the globe where they are persecuted, spat upon, and even shot at—but they still carry Jesus to people who have never heard his name. They’re energetic, enthusiastic, and on-fire for Jesus. Every one of them have sacrificed and suffered, and worked hard to make a difference.

I’m proud to go with them, and support them, and will work beside them as often as I can. Those young men and women are the millennials who impress me. But they’re not doing it for me. They’re being obedient to God and serving Christ.

Ms. Evans states,

I would encourage church leaders eager to win millennials back to sit down and really talk with them about what they’re looking for, and what they would like to contribute to a faith community.

When someone complains about not being wooed properly into the church, and gives that as a reason for disengagement—it’s a copout. It doesn’t matter if they’re twenty-five or seventy-five.

If you’re in the group Ms. Evans describes, I have to be honest—I can’t justify wasting time trying to win you back by finding out what you’re looking for when you have the truth right in front of you. At some point each of us has to accept the responsibility for our actions. My millennial missionary friends and I won’t beg you to accept the truth when that time could be spent carrying the Gospel to children dying without Jesus every single day.

If you don’t want someone else to examine your life, do it yourself. If you have something to bring to the table—bring it, and let’s reach the poor and needy for Christ. If not, please step aside and let the rest of my Christian millennial friends get some work done.


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