I had recently addressed a similar article, on “Those Leaving” , and just finished reading this one, “Why millennials are leaving the church.”
Neither one have a full answer because the reasons vary so much – and have occurred for centuries. There are waves of revival seen across the years of history, and we may be on the cusp of another.
Both of the articles discuss some young adults leaving churches. Both articles also address those who stay – and, as this author includes, those who are seeking. She has an interesting list of “We want …” items, and then writes:
You can’t hand us a latte and then go about business as usual and expect us to stick around. We’re not leaving the church because we don’t find the cool factor there; we’re leaving the church because we don’t find Jesus there.A number of churches have changed their names, added current music, updated technology, increased activities – all with the goal of enlarging attendance, working in their their community to reach people. Perhaps that’s not all that is needed, as she states:
Like every generation before ours and every generation after, deep down, we long for Jesus.
What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.They want – long for, she says - Jesus. That’s not new. There is a strip of paper on the pulpit in our church that has been there for more than fifteen years that we can confirm, probably longer. No one wishes to remove it, those words that the Greeks spoke to Philip and we need today:
And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. (John 12:20-21 KJV)
And, He is the one that should be seen, heard and worshipped in every Christian church. No program matters unless He is in the center. No Christian doctrine has importance unless it includes belief in His resurrection:
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: (1 Corinthians 15:13-16 KJV)
Verse follows verse as Paul wrote to the church members at Corinth explaining how it is impossible to deny Jesus’ resurrection without denying all He preached. He was not a prophet. He was not a rabbi. He was not a good man with an excellent philosophy.
He was, is and will always be the Messiah, God’s plan of salvation for the world.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:57-58 KJV)
Now, that’s good preaching when we live it!