Reaching Millennials — Is There One Way?

This is a guest post by my son Nate:

My name is Nate, and I’m a millennial.
That means I must love liturgy, hate big production in church, want to ask really hard questions about faith all the time, go do organized “social justice” every Saturday, am nowhere near shallow enough (or I’m just far too clever) to attend a church with a hashtag campaign, want a pastor who preaches messages that are “on point” and filled with “authentic, hard truth”, think that the majority of Christians I grew up with were hypocritical bigots who suppressed all of my doubts, love Jesus but question institutionalized Christianity, yet simultaneously desperately desire a church that will help me get back in touch with the “historic roots” of the Christian faith.

So, church leaders… if you want to reach me and all my millennial friends, decipher how all of that fits together, then get busy changing to become exactly like me so that I can have a church that’s perfect for me. But make sure you stay “authentic” along the way, otherwise we will see straight through you and discount you completely.
Heew. What a difficult task you have. Unless, of course, that’s not true for all (I might even argue, most) millennials.

The last couple weeks, there have been several articles posted about how the church can reach millennials. Below are just two examples.

Want millennials back in the pews? Stop trying to make church ‘cool.’

Dear church: An open letter from one of those millennials you can’t figure out

These kinds of posts have been rolling out for a few years now. The reason I’ve decided to write this post is because several older believers and pastors I deeply respect have been sharing the articles, almost as if their ministries are completely irrelevant and headed toward extinction.

I simply don’t believe that’s true.

You can read the rest of the post by clicking

HERE

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Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Marshae says:

    YES, I so agree, the church is so past all this religiosity stuff. Jesus acted nothing like the people act in church. I so respect this article, especially the realness of it. Thiis what we need to reach our generation. The old church is about to past away, they are truly missing the mark. Thank you for sharing!

  • jimpemberton says:

    "The real question for me is— Would I be willing to lay down my preferences and embrace someone else’s if it meant they might meet Jesus? My hope is that the answer to that question will always be yes. My hope for local churches all over the world is that the answer would always be yes. That we would be willing to do whatever it takes to introduce people to Jesus."

    This is the key. There is a balance between organizing a church corporately from the way it's run to the style of services and the presentation of the message that makes sense to the people you are trying to reach and being able to teach them that the universal Body of Christ is far greater than the experience they most desire. You have crossed the line from pandering to an audience into discipling Christians who have a heart to minister the gospel outside of their comfort zones when they can worship regardless of the form, sacrifice for others, and ultimately see corporate gatherings as a culmination of the worship they have been doing all week long instead of a time of rejuvenation because they haven't been worshiping "out in the real world" on their own.

    I feel this balance when I go to teach in other parts of the world. Many places I go don't worship like I do. They have different forms, different languages, different sensibilities. But we all have the same gospel reality. So I need to teach in a way that makes sense to them culturally, but also in such a way to call them to the transcendent culture of the gospel. So it is in our churches that are filled with people who are being confused by rapid cultural changes. They need help processing those changes and a foundation in the unchanging gospel culture is the only way to do it.

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