“I recently read something on the subject of young people and the church that seemed like a major adventure in missing the point so I just felt like sharing this (again)”
Here is the missing the point article: http://bit.ly/1cbvsSz
So I decided to post the CNN article it again because I recently saw the article I thought missed the point pop up again. And while there was a lot more I wanted to say this time than I had in the past I felt that now that I have a blog I could say it here instead. Besides, that was one of the reason I started a blog to begin with.
Here is what I have to say about this:
The ideas expressed in the CNN article are NOT just the made up or the views of a “liberal.” They are not just not based on polls, questionable or otherwise. This is REALITY. Blaming it on things such as
“They don’t feel like they’re encountering God”
“Sometimes people leave because they’re backsliding”
just reinforces negative view that people have of Christianity and why they are actually leaving churches of almost every kind. By saying something like
“Besides, if churches with more conservative, traditional views on sexuality, creation/evolution and biblical inerrancy are really such a turnoff to the millennial masses, then why aren’t liberal, mainline congregations teeming with young adults?”
you are also confirming what people are saying and that what you are saying is wrong. The idea that you have to be “conservative” or have “traditional” view on sexuality (what, like David who is considered by religious people to be a man after God’s own heart or Solomon who is considered by religious people to be one of the wisest people to ever live?) or that you have to believe that the universe is 10,000 or 6,000 years old (something Pat Robertson doesn’t believe) in order to be a “real” Christian is ludicrous and one of the reasons so many people find church irrelevant. Also, the reasons why those more “liberal” churches are not growing are the same: irrelevancy. But the problem with the why aren’t those “other” churches growing ignores the fact that some ARE growing. The truth is that with forms of Christianity such as Eastern Orthodoxy or other high church traditions a lot of young people have been moving to such churches (just like the CNN article states).
One more thing. This also NOT an age issue as there people of every generation feel the same so stop blaming it on age or “rebelliousness.”
If you really want to keep thinking that it is only the fault of those who are leaving the church and not of your church itself maybe you should just accept that you have become irrelevant. Or, instead of sticking your head in the sand and discounting what people say maybe you should be taking what people are saying seriously and reflect on it (and maybe even repent about some of it) and see what can be changed to reverse the current trends. Stop thinking it is what you do that will make the difference. Having a rock concert in church will not keep people in church even if they like the music. It will take a change of your SUBSTANCE not of your STYLE meaning change how you view and treat people and not just how you dress or how hip & trendy you can be. Becoming like Starbucks won’t make people like you anymore. Besides, if you think that having a coffee shop in your church will bring people into your church AND make them want to stay you probably have something wrong with your church. It would be better to have your “church” in a coffee shop (or, gasp, a bar) because at least then you’d be forced to deal with the people who aren’t like you (many who may be the ones who left your church) instead of staying inside your self constructed world where everyone (pretends) to think and act like you. Just because something makes you uncomfortable doesn’t make you right and everyone else wrong.