Monday, 22 February 2010
By Justin at BeDeviant
Somebody call Will.I.Am. We need to start bridging the gap.
USA Today came out with a shocking-but-not-unexpected article concerning the religious habits of Millennials.
As I said, the results are unsurprising:
- Young adults today are less church-connected than prior generations were when they were in their 20s.
- Millennials are just about as spiritual as their parents and grandparents were at those ages.
- Millennials are significantly more likely than young adults in earlier generations to say they don’t identify with any religious group.
My question isn’t, “Is this true?” (it is), but “What do we do about this?” (Although stubborn, hard-heads in Christendom are no doubt plugging their ears and saying, “LALALALA! If I don’t hear it, it won’t be true!”) Those of us “on the ground” know this to be true. Most people in the know realize there is a significant gap between the Church and Millennials.
Christians have a responsibility to reach out to all people, regardless or race, color, religion …. or age. Millennials, largely, are not connecting with the “product” that we’re pushing out.
I find this problematic.
Worship attendance is sliding steadily, too: 18% of Millennials say they attend worship nearly every week or more often, vs. 21% of Gen Xers when they were in their 20s and 26% of Boomers at those ages.
At some point, you have to push past the religious language that we like to use to explain this phenomenon away: “The Holy Spirit will draw them back to the Church,” “We just need to pray harder,” “If we keep doing what we do with excellence, we’ll be fine.”
Millennials have drawn back the covers on the Church and they don’t like what they see. Eesh. At this point, it seems a change–even a drastic change–needs to be made in the North American church’s way of doing ministry.
So instead of dwelling and stewing in this unflattering reality, how do we move forward?