I read a CNN blog this morning titled “Why millennials are leaving the church“. The writer, Rachel Held Evans, made some interesting points, but, as with a lot of millennials, she made it from her viewpoint. Most of the initial paragraphs are “I this, I that”, then she closes it out with “We this, and We that”. Her closing statement is this:
But 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.
Since working in the recruiting industry I have taken some courses on generations. It helps when speaking to a particular age group to know what’s important to their generation. I won’t go into a tremendous amount of detail, but hopefully something will be received in this short blog.
The main source of my research is from a book I read called “Motivating the ‘What’s In It For Me?’ Workforce” written by Cam Marston.
I learned that generations are a grouped together by four. Every fifth generation starts a new cycle. The last four generations are as follows:
- The Matures – born between 1909-1945
- The Baby Boomers – born between 1946-1964
- Generation X – born between 1965 – 1983
- Millennials – born between 1984-2002
The year 2003 starts a new cycle, one that hasn’t been named yet.
The Matures were in both World Wars, and lived a hard life. Their children, the Baby Boomers, most likely grew up poor, with not a lot to eat. As they grew into adulthood these Boomers took that feeling of being poor with them, and it motivated them to accomplish great things.
Baby Boomers were the first to have both mom and dad working. Their thought was, “I’m never going to put my kids through what I went through.” So they worked, and worked, and worked. Science and Technology sky rocketed, the women’s movement exploded, and there was a feeling of accomplishment and loyalty to “the corporation”. Their children, GEN X, were raised by day care, a nanny, or television.
As GEN X entered adulthood they also took with them childhood memories and vowed to make a change. No way were they going to be absent from their children; they would shower their children with love. Spanking was looked down upon, and a stern parenting style was not the norm. Their children, GEN Y – or Millenials – were the greatest achievement for some GEN X adults, and that is how their children were raised.
The Millennials are in the workforce, and they are starting to have children. This generation was raised with a certain level of entitlement. The feature image shows a Millennial with the header: The Me, Me, Me Generation.
My research about generations also showed me that all throughout history, the fourth generation of the group is always the most liberal in their thinking and ideals. The next generation, my daughter’s generation, although still unnamed will be a stark contrast to their parents. (This is what history suggests anyway).
To try and respond to Rachel Held Evans without knowing the history of their generation is almost a waste of breath. In her blog she writes:
Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions – Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. –precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.
She also writes…
We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have the rich tradition of a conservative church AND feel comfortable about a ‘sexual orientation’. If you read my blog, you know I don’t believe in being born straight or gay. I think that part of the mystique of the ancient forms of liturgy was the fear factor with God.
The church was a strong building of God where broken sinners humbled themselves in all our failures, similar to the prodigal’s son returning home to work for – not live with – his father. God may have been disappointed in these wretched folk, that is what the devil would want to believe anyway, but at service the minister would reassure everyone that God indeed loved them and their process of coming to holiness would be complete if not in this lifetime, but when they passed away.
There was no ‘my way’ for those sitting in the pews of the old Church. There was no announcement of a label by couples that would highlight a certain way of life. Heads were bowed out of respect, not risen high for pride. Even the hateful racists, within the walls of the church, would closet their sin out of respect for the organization for where they sat.
My official response to Why Millennials are leaving the Church?
They aren’t leaving the church.
They were never a part of the church.
Attending a service with your parents doesn’t make you a part of the church body. There is a purging happening, and it’s happening with churches that are standing on their biblical principals.
Now, my thoughts for those in the fight:
If you are a minister of a church, it’s not in your nature to ever turn your back on anyone, no matter what generation they are. But if you are a minister of a church, in my opinion, your evangelizing efforts should be on the children of Millennials. Your strategy and teaching should be based around their learning. Teach the ones that teach to bring children at the youngest ages to learn more about what Christ did for us. These children will grow to see how open minded their parents are and realize there IS something more. This generation, I believe, will usher in one more spiritual awakening, one that will dwarf Azusa Street prior to the return of the King. History is on our side. The data shows that the start of a new cycle of generations are the most conservative. It is only a matter of time.
And with the return of the king, I am of the opinion that his return will decimate this country as the majority of the population will be raptured leaving the free world leaderless and confused ripe for the new world order.
I’m not a prophet and this is not a word from the Lord…just something I have always believed in and wanted to share.
Please stop catering to those that want to be catered to and start believing in the movement that is coming.