It is now well-established that self-professed Christian Millennials (teenagers and young adults) do not really go to “church”. In a 2011 study published by the Barna Group entitled “You Lost Me”, when asked about what help them grow their faith, Millennials did not even mention “church” among the Top 10 reasons. That in itself is very alarming for churches, as this generation simply do not see “the church” as a place for spiritual growth! But fast forward 2 years to 2013 and things get even more disturbing for churches: According to another study by the Barna Group entitled “Is Evangelism Going Out of Style?”, Millennials were found to be the ONLY generation among whom evangelism (the practice of sharing your faith with others) is significantly on the rise, escalating from 56% in 2010 to 65% in 2013. And not only that, the study also found that, among all born-again Christians, Millennials are the group that evangelizes the most!
1 Corinthians 1:25… the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
They are ahead of Busters (30s and 40s), Baby boomers (50 to 67 years old) and Elders (68 years old+), all of which are either stagnating or declining. The worst of them all? The Busters (i.e. my generation…we are just too busy with the affairs of this world). Furthermore, read between the lines and you will see that these findings also suggest quite strongly that churches are actually directly responsible for many born-again Christians growing cold regarding God’s business!
Yet, today’s churches are pieces of art, with their manicured gardens and fountains, marble floors, mahogany pulpits and Tiffany glasses, and the latest technologies that will send any tech geek into mental shock. “Online” giving? Check! Facebook page, Twitter updates, Instagram? Check! Music, entertainment, dating nights, hell houses? Check! But no matter what these churches do to attract them…Millenials are, by in large, NOT coming!
Acts 17:24 – The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.
You see, it is quite simple…God said Himself that He is not in those buildings! So why should any true follower of Jesus-Christ be attracted to these places? The early churches met in private homes and on the beach, because they understood clearly that THEY themselves, not the places where they met, were the temples of God. Dear churches, Millenials are outside…doing the work of the Lord, and are not coming back. The Lord is in prison, with the homeless, with the hungry, with the friend who just lost a loved one…all of whom either cannot or will never dare set their feet in one of those palaces called churches. And if these Millennials are gathering with a few friends, stop assuming that all they are doing is drinking…they are probably having fellowship, studying the scriptures like they never studied them in Church, not afraid of asking the most uncomfortable questions, falling on their knees praying earnestly to their Father in the name of His Son…the Lord Himself being right there in the mix!
Matthew 18:20 – For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
“Let’s dilute the word of God somewhat, so these youngsters will understand”. Sorry, but that is not working either. True followers of Christ (and that includes those Millennials) are not asking for a diluted, less offensive, less boring, more “relevant” version of the Word of God…they are asking for the Word of God…untouched, uncensored, and pure! We see that every day in school and college campuses, “Ground Zero” of spiritual warfare for this generation. By diluting the Word with your human wisdom, all you bring is confusion.
1 Corinthians 2: 1-5 – And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
The virgin Mary was still a teenager when the angel Gabriel told her that she would be the mother of the Messiah. God started to talk to Samuel, bypassing the priest Eli (who lived in the same house!), when he was still a child (1 Samuel 3:8)…and at a time when the Word of the Lord was truly rare! The prophet Daniel was still a teenager when God started to work with him. And what about David, Solomon, Timothy or Luke? The Lord Jesus-Christ Himself performed His ministry when He was only 30. So churches, please trust God…these “youngsters” understand!
John 10:27 – My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Dear churches, the sheep follow their shepherd, the King Jesus-Christ. If He is not in your building, neither will His sheep be. Sorry I can’t come to church, I am too busy following my Lord, doing the work He has given me. Indeed, 1 Corinthians 1:27 really is true…
…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.
To our God be the glory, and may His Son Jesus-Christ, our King, live forever! Even so, Amen!