We’re hearing more bad news about how young America feels about organized church. Thom Rainer published this article about young church leaders; it also reveals the brokenness that exists between churches/denominations and a major portion of our adult population. While it’s sort of good news for church planters, it’s bad news for everyone for several reasons: The church is God’s plan to reach our culture. If the plan isn’t working, we’re in trouble. It reveals a lack of grace on the part of younger people.
My friend Travis Johnson recently preached, “Flaws and all, the Church must be a central priority of our existence as Christians.” We can’t expect the church to be even close to perfect. The church has a lot of good to offer young adults, but if we aren’t on speaking terms, nothing will be shared. We shouldn’t have to learn everything by personal experience. Elders have practical wisdom that is needed. Millennials have a lot to offer the church, but we’re not on speaking terms.
And one of the biggest reasons this is bad news is this: Too much of what Millennials believe about the church is accurate. The church can be irrelevant. The church can care more about maintenance than mission. The church can be myopic. As a denominational leader, I can unfortunately respond: guilty as charged!
So, how do we repair the disconnect? I think that, if these breaches are going to be healed, the church has to do a few things; here are just a few ways churches can reconnect with millennials:
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