A few days ago, Rachel Held Evans wrote an article about why Millennials are leaving the church. This article has stirred up a lot of debate. I don’t really wish to comment or or argue with either article, others have done enough of that. What I’d like to do is to say that this is something the church needs to be discussing. I think there are many things that Evans gets right, and think that there are some things that are probably overstated. Frankly, whether she is right or wrong is not nearly as important as the fact that Millennials are leaving the church.
In his book You Lost Me, David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, reveals research about how Millennials who grew up in the church are leaving the church. According to Barna’s research, “Over half of Millennials with a Christian background (59%) have, at some point, dropped out of going to church after having gone regularly, and half have been significantly frustrated by their faith.” There are many different reasons, but the reality is they are leaving. Kinnaman’s book explores all the reasons why Millennials are say they are leaving, some of which Evans discusses in her article on CNN.
Whatever the reasons, this is a topic that needs to be discussed in the church. My generation is not satisfied with what they are finding. I don’t think Millennials are right on every point, but good questions are being raised. If you are a church leader, please take some time to engage the Millennials in your church. If you don’t, you may lose most of them for good.
Other posts to check out:
Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church: A Response to Rachel Held Evans
How to keep Millennials in the church? Let’s keep church un-cool.
The Church Failed Millennials, Just Not In the Way You Think It Did
Rearranging the Chairs and other wastes of time: A response to Rachel Held Evans
The Real Secret of Keeping Millennials in the Church
Young Evangelicals are switching to high churches
Three Spiritual Journeys of Millennials
More on millennials and the future of Christianity…(a list of resources & conversations)