We know that millennials are leaving the Church, but there is something more important about which to be concerned.
First let me say that some of the most incredible, God-fearing people I know are millennials, including my children and their spouses for whom I have the utmost respect. I am not referring to such millennials in this article. I’m referring to those with a personal agenda.
So what is it we’re doing to chase them from our churches? You might find this interesting.
Rachel Held Evans has commented on 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.
She believes that Generation Y-er’s (millennials) are leaving the church because they can’t find Jesus there, and that her generation is not fooled by deceptive church practices. She was bold enough to say that millennials want more than a latte in the church lobby or a hip church band.
According to her they want to be able to ask questions that don’t have, what she refers to, as pre-determined answers. If that doesn’t send up warning flares, you should be concerned.
She states that millennials also want their LGBT friends to be comfortable in the faith community, implying that we should condone sin, avoid the topic of sin, or tell them it doesn’t matter how they live their lives. Her definition of pre-determined answers is beginning to take on a hideous form.
The important question to ask is, is God in charge, or are we? Is He sovereign, or can we change what He commanded to fit out brave new world? 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, some millennials feel that it’s time to rewrite and rethink portions of Scripture to make it more relevant and unoffensive to modern society, including LGBT individuals who feel displaced by the judgmental attitude of Christians who hold traditional values.
This new-age thinking is actually quite old-age thinking. Each generation feels that it has figured life out, but they’re actually starting over just like every generation before them. The surroundings and ability to communicate on a grand scale may have changed, but the presuppositions are identical to those of fifty years ago.
Perhaps God’s Word is something the new-thinking generation doesn’t find applicable anymore (not all millennials, just the entitlement cohort) viewing Scripture as antiquated verbiage from an outdated God.
If we 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 individuals so they can feel good about themselves, we’re missing the point.
According to leading experts on the subject, millennials don’t want to be judged or preached to, 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 judge and preach. And he will. He tells us so in His Word.
Generation Y has something that certain millennial advocates refer to as highly sensitive BS meters, not easily impressed with consumerism or performances. Since entitlement millennials represent the epitome of consumerism and performance based acceptance, this is a bit hypocritical.
If our goal is to justify skipping out on church—we should just do it quietly instead of trying to place a badge of honor where shame resides. Blaming everybody in church for our absence or refusal to get involved is easy. That hypocrisy has been around for two thousand years. My BS meter works well too.
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 us for how ignorant we think it is has always been a copout. Grinding out blog after blog about how church isn’t living up to our generation’s expectations doesn’t mean a thing if we’re not trying to spread the Gospel and establish our lives with Christ.
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 has 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.
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