Why the Church is Losing a Generation and What We Can Do About It
As I visit with and am around churches and church leaders of all different denominations and locations, I see a trend . . .
We’re losing the next generation . . . my generation.
I don’t know where it started or how it happened, but somehow, my generation isn’t interested in what the church is doing.
- We’re interested in ‘spiritual’ matters,
- we’re interested in working together,
- we’re interested in relationships,
- we’re interested in making an impact,
- we’re interested in helping others,
but we’re not interested in what the majority of churches are doing.
Youth ministry doesn’t seem to be working as we’ve always done it, college ministry is declining in attendance and therefore, in churches willing to do it, the average age at most churches is getting higher,
and the church is losing a generation.
While some churches are far behind and don’t seem to care (they refuse to take the smallest step away from ‘the usual’),
others are fighting and beating the air as to what to do.
I don’t write this to say that I have the answer. I definitely don’t. I write this to say that it’s alarming me that my peers don’t care about our church . . . about our Christ.
I don’t have ‘the’ answer, but here are some thoughts about what church has to look like in order to get back my generation . . .
1. Relationship. – The attractional church model worked . . . it can still. Not without relationship, though. When I say relationship, I don’t mean we sit people in circles, take prayer requests, and read a Psalm. I mean real, organic relationship.
2. Realism. – Genuine care about my generation. Real faith displayed in daily life. My generation is looking for something that’s more real than the rest of what’s fed to us . . . your people need to live out their faith for the world to see.
3. Responsibility. – My generation wants responsibility. We want the real truth. For the most part, we’re starving for direction and something that works and is absolute. We don’t mind owning something and being challenged with it.
Now, I know these aren’t processes or programming ideas, but they’re just things that I’ve noticed about the millennial generation. In fact, I’m not sure the answer for getting this generation back into church lies in a program or process,
I think it’s lost in those . . .
We have to do so much more . . .
We have to build relationships and earn trust . . .
We have to do the hard work and ask God to give us our young people in our city . . .
before it’s too late.
Okay pastor, youth pastor, parent, teacher, or youth . . . let’s put our heads together . . .
What do you think it’ll take to turn the young generation back on to the local church?
Jonathan Pearson is a Christ-follower, husband, pastor, communicator, and a millennial who writes, tweets, and speaks to communicate Christ, vision, and bold living.