Monday, July 29, 2013


Having grown up in different church cultures I can understand where the following speaker is coming from. As a young person, when I did attend church, thanks to my grandmothers, I had one foot in a Pentecostal Home Church and one in a Southern Baptist Church. 

Before we married, my husband and I discussed church and where we'd raise our children. He asked that I seriously consider the United Methodist Church...he grew up in one and knew that there were time honored values. I fell in love almost immediately...I loved the regular Communion, the Pastor in robes, the liturgy, the beautiful and sometimes ancient hymns. And while I know the UMC is not perfect by any means, it spoke to me...

In an age where so many congregations are changing who and what they are in order to attract young people, these words, by Rachel Held Evans, are worth listening to (be sure and follow the links)...

Time and again, the assumption among Christian leaders, and evangelical leaders in particular, is that the key to drawing twenty-somethings back to church is simply to make a few style updates edgier music, more casual services, a coffee shop in the fellowship hall, a pastor who wears skinny jeans, an updated Web site that includes online giving.

But here’s the thing: Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances.
In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church, and evangelicalism in particular.

Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.

What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.
We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against.

We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.

We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.

We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities.

We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.

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.

Like every generation before ours and every generation after, deep down, we long for Jesus.

Two quotes to pay especial attention to:
"The sacred exists and is stronger than all our rebellions."  by Czeslaw Milosz
"He cannot have God as his Father who does not have the church for his Mother." Cyprian

1 comment:

Claire Smith said...

I have found this to be true about Millenials. Unfortunately, it's easy for the church to buy into the marketing mindset that's implicit in your blog and exchange substance for fluff. We all need to be true to the gospel and our tradition.