12 Reasons Millennials are like every other Generation

In an article entitled 12 Reasons Millennials Are OVER Church, blogger Sam Eaton attempts to explain why Millennials are likely to be missing in the church. I myself could be a Millennial by some definitions, but having grown up conservative I most likely fit somewhere in the middle. As someone who is very concerned about all generations following Jesus I found this article very interesting but not necessarily insightful. The reason is that there is nothing new here. Sam is essentially calling for the seeker sensitive movement all over again, but with a different emphasis. One of the reasons I see things differently than Sam is that he seems to be believe in big church. He expects the church as an institution to correct all of these issues and to be involved in every facet of our lives. Just like big government cannot solve our political issues, big church cannot solve our spiritual issues.

In any case, I think this article brought up some good areas of discussion and I would like to comment on them:

1. Nobody’s Listening to Us

This is hardly a millennial problem. Most churches are set up in such a way that unless you have gone to school and are paid, you have very little influence. There are many people who feel this way. However, just because things are not the way you would like does not mean people aren't listening. They may just think your ideas are not good.

2. We’re Sick of Hearing About Values and Mission Statements

Agreed! I have sat in way to many vision, mission, and values strategy meetings thinking the same thing. Our vision, mission, and values have already been set. However, I do think it makes sense for church elders to sit down and do some self-evaluation. It is easy for churches to become inward looking and need a reset from time to time.

3. Helping the Poor Isn’t a Priority

Helping the poor should be a priority for all Christians, but this does not mean the church as an institution needs to make another program to meet this need. We need to remember that the primary goal of the church is to make disciples, which means the church needs to prepare people so that when they are out in the community helping their neighbours they can share the gospel.

4. We’re Tired of You Blaming the Culture

This point is not clear in the post, but any sort of discussion of culture should be followed up with how we should live in light of it.

5.  The “You Can’t Sit With Us” Affect

Close communities are 'cliquey' communities. This is something that I think most people fail to understand. The closer the community the harder it is to feel like you are part of that community, it only makes sense. However, we should all make an effort to welcome those who are not yet part of the community.

6. Distrust & Misallocation of Resources

This is a problem. Churches spending money on lighting and other frivolous things when people are starving and haven't heard the gospel sounds hypocritical. Unfortunately, it only matches most of our personal lives. There is not much to say here other than we need to get better in all aspects of our lives.

7. We Want to Be Mentored, Not Preached At

I am assuming it is not preaching that is the concern, since preaching is obviously an essential part of Christianity. Rather it seems that the real problem is having people preach when there is no personal relationship with them. This is especially problematic in a large church, but should not be as much of a problem in a smaller church. I agree that we need real relationships that span generations.

8. We Want to Feel Valued 

This is a basic need for all people or any age.

9. We Want You to Talk to Us About Controversial Issues (Because No One Is)

This is very needed and is something that I have found is often missing. Talks about divorce, pornography, greed, evolution, and self-absorption are often missing. I think it would good for churches to use the Sunday "evening" service for this kind of talk.

10. The Public Perception: 

The church is not a public advocacy group. Also, seeking recognition from the public that we are doing a good job is a disaster in the making. We will know we are doing a good job when we are being persecuted not because they are thanking us. "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:12)"

11. Stop Talking About Us (Unless You’re Actually Going to Do Something)

See the summary below.

12. You’re Failing to Adapt 

This is the common refrain of all progressives in the world. They do not realize that every other generation has gone through these same things. These struggles are common to man.

Summary

Overall, this article is a good summary of what every generation has felt through the ages. I know it seems condescending to hear that, but it is the truth. One of the problems is that people that go to church seem to always expect that the other people who go have their lives together more than they do. In general, we need to think less of ourselves and more of other people, that goes for Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials. Here are my suggestions for helping solve some of these issues:

  • Have people over to eat.
  • Don't go to a church with more than 250 people in it.
  • Love people who you don't get along with. In other words, love the church in all its brokenness, just like Christ loved you.



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