Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about “millennials”. Millennials, according to the Internet, are a group of highly narcissistic Facebook addicts that can’t find time for church, otherwise known as people who were born between 1980 and 2000.
At least that’s what you might think if you read a few of these articles demanding that the church start catering to the “needs” of millennials (as if millennials don’t have the same needs as everyone else). One article I read said that millennials have “highly sensitive BS meters” and can detect any hint of untruthfulness in church. That seemed pretty narcissistic to me.
Here’s the thing: the church is not here to validate you. No, it’s really not. It is not a social institution designed to cater to consumers, despite the deplorable entertainment mindset of the modern church. The church is the bride of Christ. And it’s job is to serve Christ and propagate the Gospel.
The question, “Why are the millennials leaving the church?” should be completely irrelevant to any church that is faithfully submitting to Christ and preaching the word of God. Because any church that is faithfully preaching the Word of God doesn’t have to care about membership numbers. This is because numbers don’t matter, faithfulness does. The question is, “Are we serving Christ and preaching the Gospel?”
If young people are leaving your church, there’s two possible explanations: 1) the church is unfaithful and in sin OR 2) the person is unfaithful and in sin. In all the discussions about millennials leaving churches, it’s amazing that no one has stopped to ask, “Well, maybe the millennials are wrong for leaving.”
Whoa there. Do I dare suggest that young people born between 1980-2000 might actually be sinners? That perhaps have unbiblical expectations for what a church should do? And some of them may be leaving for sinful reasons?
Millennials (of which I am one) are people too. They need the Gospel and Jesus just like Generation X and the Baby Boomers. A church that’s preaching the Gospel and Jesus doesn’t need to worry about young people leaving, unless the church is in sin.
Is there a problem that so many people are leaving the churches in America? Yes, and I don’t mean to suggest that the decline in membership in churches is actually JUST the millennial generation’s fault. Churches have largely failed their members, but that includes ALL their members, not just millennials. The point I’m trying to make is that there are two sides to this coin, and we would be remiss if we didn’t examine both.
If you leave a church because it’s petty and judgmental and failing to preach the Gospel, that’s a good thing.
But if you leave because the church biblically declares sin to be what it is and that’s offensive to you, then the blame is on you.
What do you think? Is the focus on millennials too strong, or rightly placed?