My Thoughts on a Millennial Rant

 

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So, I really got sidetracked today after reading an article  reposted by someone I love but  who really didn’t grow up in church. I feel like someone from the outside looking in, reading this article, could really find justification for despising the “church” as they understand it. Here I will briefly address each point the author makes with my insight, however flawed.

  1. Nobody’s listening to us “…millennials value voice and receptivity above all else”
    This seems kind of sad that this is valued above all else.
  2. We’re sick of hearing about values & mission statements
    I can agree here. Get back to the Gospel.
  3. Helping the poor Isn’t a priority
    The author talks about connecting people with similar passions – meeting and brainstorming. Individual Christians need to be serving the people where they are – it’s not always necessary to CONNECT and brainstorm.
  4. We’re tired of you blaming the culture
    True, perhaps, We need to call sin sin. I agree, we need to see how our lives should differ from the culture.
  5. The “You Can’t Sit With Us” affect  – The author speaks of “…authentic community with a shared purpose centered around service”.
    We need to be centered around worship. All the rest will then fall into place. He also says to “..create and train a team of CONNECT people…” This seems like just another program. We are called as Christians to do this regardless.
  6. Distrust and misallocation of resources “…millennials don’t trust institutions.” The misallocations of funds is true in many churches, especially the Mega-churches. But, many of these are just religious institutions, not a true body of believers.
  7. We want to mentored, not preached at
    I understand craving relationship and I believe it can be found within the church. The New Testament shows us this example in Paul and Timothy. But, this does not mean to disregard preaching. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God – Romans 10:17
  8. We want to feel valued. “Churches tend to rely heavily on their young adults to serve.” (yet later the author says the church is “… a smattering of mostly older people) I agree with his point about relying on young people – this isn’t in keeping with the pattern set out for us in scripture. The author goes on to say, “We desperately need the church to tell us we are enough, exactly the way we are.” This is completely false. None of us are “enough” – only in Christ are we worthy. Many millennials have been given trophies and told they could do anything they dreamed of, only to find out not everyone will be a NFL star or a grammy winner.
  9. We want you to talk to us about controversial issues  – “We need someone consistently speaking truth…”
    This goes back to #1 – sound preaching. He says to “Create a young adults program…” A program isn’t necessarily the answer. Sound preaching and teaching from home is. I will be the first to admit I fell down on the job on that one.
  10. The public perception – “It’s time to change the public perception of the church.” The perception may change when the church is worshiping and serving as scripture teaches. But, just remember the public perception of Jesus when He was on earth was pretty low. Why should it be different for us?
  11. Stop talking about us (unless you’re going to do something) I say this goes both ways.
  12. You’re failing to adapt. Here the author quotes Bill Clinton, and I’m thinking there is something wrong with that picture. Then he says, “You’re complacent, irrelevant, and approaching extinction.” I guess “stop talking about us” doesn’t apply here.

 

“The truth is, church, it’s your move.”
If the author is a Christian, he IS the church. If he’s not, all of this is moot.

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2 thoughts on “My Thoughts on a Millennial Rant

  1. Growing up inside the church tends to be very different from coming into the church already grown up – one group doesn’t get to make mistakes, the other has already made them. One group doesn’t get much in the way of a testimony, the other gets admiration for having a testimony. One group is expected to abide by the rules and the other gets a pass for bending them.
    I’ve been to a half dozen churches in three states – it’s true that a smattering of old people is the norm, but they dis-proportionally shove off as much work as possible on the young people that inexplicably still attend, as few as they are. You’d have to attend country churches in the middle of nowhere to see it happening every Sunday, but it’s out there.
    Because the elders run the show however they like, young people often feel unwanted and that their ideas don’t matter. In one of my churches, elders outnumbered youth four to one and the majority always got their way on everything. They created a church that suited their nostalgic tastes; sending the message that anyone who wasn’t around forty or so years ago and doesn’t like how things are done can go elsewhere for all they care – and that’s just what they did.
    The thing is, when it comes down to us as individuals, we have very little power to affect change with what’s going on. If you challenge the wrong elder/deacon without the support of other leaders, you’re little more than an upstart kid having a temper tantrum that you’re having to put up with things you don’t like. If you don’t think that the church is doing enough and you decide to go around the elders/deacons, they’ll find a way to shut down whatever you’re doing. This happened once to a lady running a soup kitchen – her deacon decided to de-fund that ministry in order to buy the church an electronic sign. That’s why the church is irrelevant, it’s in it’s own little world where things are like the 1950s and change just doesn’t happen. It’s a fishbowl that takes care of it’s own, but has little impact outside of it’s doors.

  2. Jamie,
    I’ve been in more churches in three states than I care to admit. I’ve seen examples like you’ve mentioned and worse. Yet, I am thankful to now have a better understanding of what the church really is, and I’m forever learning. I pray you are,too. -Angie

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