UPDATED: Fisking 12 Reasons Millennials Are Over Church

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28 mins read

So the interwebz are flooded with heartfelt cries from millennial Christians just begging the church to understand them.  Well, lest we yet again be accused of not listening to the darling little snowflakes, by all means, let us listen… and respond.
I want to be head-over-heals for church like the unshakable Ned Flanders. 
I want to send global, sky-writing airplanes telling the life-change that happens beneath a steeple. I want to install a police microphone on top of my car and cruise the streets screaming to the masses about the magical, utopian community of believers waiting for them just down the street.
Do you?  Do you really?  Because what you sound like is a cheating husband who is telling us all about how much he loves his family… right before he goes on to explain why his cheating is all his wife’s fault.  Also, we’re really off to a bad start here.  It appears you don’t know what love is, and you don’t know what church is.  Nothing about church is utopian.   And love?  Love is a verb.  Love is a choice.  It’s an action.  You choose to do it, or you choose not to do it.  It’s not a feeling.
I desperately want to feel this way about church, but I don’t. Not even a little bit. In fact, like much of my generation, I feel the complete opposite.
Turns out I identify more with Maria from The Sound of Music staring out the abbey window, longing to be free.
It seems all-too-often our churches are actually causing more damage than good, and the statistics are showing a staggering number of millennials have taken note.
According to this study (and many others like it) church attendance and impressions of the church are the lowest in recent history, and most drastic among millennials described as 22- to 35-year-olds.
Only 2 in 10 Americans under 30 believe attending a church is important or worthwhile (an all-time low).
59 percent percent of millennials raised in a church have dropped out.
35 percent of millennials have an anti-church stance, believing the church does more harm than good.
Millennials are the least likely age group of anyone to attend church (by far).
As I sat in our large church’s annual meeting last month, I looked around for anyone in my age bracket. It was a little like a Titanic search party…
See what I mean?  Oh, I know, I know, you really want to love your family but your wife just doesn’t look as good as she used to, and she doesn’t give you the attention you want, and she doesn’t listen to you.  And that girl at the office is so cute, and so nice.  It’s really your wife’s fault.  Right?
Seriously, we’re supposed to care?  Really?  I know you people suck at history… but you’re not actually the first generation to do this.  Kids falling away from church in their late teens isn’t new.  The Baby Boomers did it.  Gen X did it more.  And now you’ve done it.  Catch that?  What I just said is, you’re not special.  You’re not new.  You’re not doing anything unexpected.  These articles you’re reading?  The same thing was said about Gen X 20 years ago.  They were written about the Baby Boomers.  Also, speaking of sucking at history, hundreds of people survived the sinking of the Titanic.  Can you at least get your snark lines right?
IS ANYONE ALIVE OUT THERE? CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?
Yes.  We’re here, and we hear you.  We just think you’re wasting our time.
Tuning in and out of the 90-minute state-of-the-church address, I kept wondering to myself, where are my people? And then the scarier question, why I am still here?
That’s a great question.  Why are you?
A deep-seated dissatisfaction has been growing in me and, despite my greatest attempts to whack-a-mole it back down, no matter what I do it continues to rise out of my wiry frame.
Ah.  You’re unsatisfied with church.  Fascinating.  Tell me, why exactly is the church accountable to you?  Should it be accountable to you?  Or should it be accountable to God?  And who exactly named you qualified to be the judge of such things?
 Despite the steep drop-off in millennials, most churches seem to be continuing on with business as usual. Sure, maybe they add a food truck here or a bowling night there, but no one seems to be reacting with any level of concern that matches these STAGGERING statistics.
That’s because pleasing God is our job, not pleasing flighty 20-somethings who are far more interested in being able to get their do-gooder buzz on while not actually getting their hands dirty, than they are in church.
Where is the task-force searching for the lost generation? Where is the introspective reflection necessary when 1/3 of a generation is ANTI-CHURCH?
How did the father react when his son left him in the Parable of the Prodigal Son?   Did he change?  Did he chase his son?  Or did he simply wait for his son to find himself… and return to him?
The truth is no one has asked me why millennials don’t like church. Luckily, as a public school teacher, I am highly skilled at answering questions before they’re asked. It’s a gift really.
So, at the risk of being excommunicated, here is the metaphorical nailing of my own 12 theses to the wooden door of the American, Millennial-less Church.
Oh, this is going to be good.  I cannot wait to hear a wet-behind-ears 20-something tell all of us down here in the trenches that we’re totally doing it wrong.  That has literally never happened before.
1. Nobody’s Listening to Us
Millennials value voice and receptivity above all else. When a church forges ahead without ever asking for our input we get the message loud and clear: Nobody cares what we think. Why then, should we blindly serve an institution that we cannot change or shape?
Well, yeah.  That’s because the church is the Bride of Christ, not the Bride of random millennial on the internet.  I think you say “no one cares what we think!” as a cry for help.  Like you want to be reassured.  Well, sorry.  We really don’t care what you think.  And what solution do you offer? Did you seriously just call for more meetings?  You want more church meetings?   This is why no one listens to you.  Because all you’re really interested in is hearing yourself talk.
2. We’re Sick of Hearing About Values & Mission Statements
Sweet Moses people, give it a rest.
Of course as an organization it’s important to be moving in the same direction, but that should easier for Christians than anyone because we already have a leader to follow. Jesus was insanely clear about our purpose on earth:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
“Love God. Love Others.” Task completed.
Why does every church need its own mission statement anyway? Aren’t we all one body of Christ, serving one God? What would happen if the entire American Church came together in our commonalities and used the same, concise mission statement?
Wait, your number 2 complaint is…  mission statements?    Do most churches even have mission statements?  Most churchgoing people don’t even know their church’s mission statement, if their church even has one.  What the hell are you even babbling about?  You’re upset because 10 people took a couple hours in a meeting and wrote out a values statement?  And you wonder why we aren’t listening to you?   Oh, and while we’re at it,  you’re wrong about the Universal Church’s mission.  There is this scripture called The Great Commission.  You can find it in your Bible.  Matthew Chapter 28.   That is the mission of the church.    And the fact that you don’t know that is one more reason why we don’t listen to you.   That and the fact that we’d rather be out making disciples instead of listening to you talk about yourself in some meeting.
3. Helping the Poor Isn’t a Priority
My heart is broken for how radically self-centered and utterly American our institution has become.
Let’s clock the number of hours the average church attender spends in “church-type” activities. Bible studies, meetings, groups, social functions, book clubs, planning meetings, talking about building community, discussing a new mission statement…
Now let’s clock the number of hours spent serving the least of these. 

Oooooo, awkward.
If the numbers are not equal please check your Bible for better comprehension (or revisit the universal church mission statement stated above).
“If our lives do not reflect radical compassion for the poor, there is reason to wonder if Christ is in us at all.” –Radical, David Platt
WHOA, WHOA, WHOA,   hold tight there, sweetheart.  Before we go forward, how about we flip this.   Let’s talk about what YOU do to help the poor.  I can tell you what my church does.  I can tell you where I personally have just come from.  Given that most of your generation is enslaved by massive student loan debt and is unemployed, unemployable, and living at home, please pardon my skepticism.   I hear you like to be generous.  I just wonder, since you’re a public school teacher, I just wonder whose money you’re being so generous with?
And that brings me to my real problem with you and your generation.  You have this long list of demands, but you don’t want to do any of the work to accomplish them.  Who exactly is stopping you from doing these things at your church?  Who is stopping you from organizing a food drive for the local food bank?  Who is stopping you?  You are.  Because you don’t want to do it.  You want us to do it for you.
4. We’re Tired of You Blaming the Culture
From Elvis’ hips to rap music, from Footloose to “twerking,” every older generation comes to the same conclusion: The world is going to pot faster than the state of Colorado. We’re aware of the down-falls of the culture—believe it or not we are actually living in it too.
Perhaps it’s easier to focus on how terrible the world is out there than actually address the mess within.
This is another reason we don’t listen to you.  Because you’re incoherent and you lie.  You say you want us to stop blaming culture, but what you really want is for us to embrace it.  You want us to tell you it’s fine to dress like slut and twerk.  You want that badly.  And ultimately that is why you don’t like church.  Because we don’t tell you what you want to hear.  We tell you the truth.
5.  The “You Can’t Sit With Us” Affect
There is this life-changing movie all humans must see, regardless of gender. The film is of course the 2004 classic Mean Girls.
In the film, the most popular girl in school forgets to wear pink on a Wednesday (a cardinal sin), to which Gretchen Weiners screams, “YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!”
Today, my mom said to me, “Church has always felt exclusive and ‘cliquey,’ like high school.” With sadness in her voice she continued, “and I’ve never been good at that game so I stopped playing.”
The truth is, I share her experience. As do thousands of others.
Until the church finds a way to be radically kinder and more compassionate than the world at large, we tell outsiders they’re better off on their own. And the truth is, many times they are.
I’ve been in the mainline Christian church longer than you’ve been alive.  I’ve never experienced this.  Have you considered something, my dear, sweet, perfect snowflake?  Maybe it’s you.  Maybe no one wants to be around you because you’re a lazy, entitled whiner.  Have you considered that?
6. Distrust & Misallocation of Resources
Over and over we’ve been told to “tithe” and give 10 percent of our incomes to the church, but where does that money actually go? Millennials, more than any other generation, don’t trust institutions, for we have witnessed over and over how corrupt and self-serving they can be.
We want painstaking transparency. We want to see on the church homepage a document where we can track every dollar.
Why should thousands of our hard-earned dollars go toward a mortgage on a multi-million dollar building that isn’t being utilized to serve the community, or to pay for another celebratory bouncy castle when that same cash-money could provide food, clean water and shelter for someone in need?
Hey, sweetie… if millennials don’t trust institutions, how did you end up the most indebted generation ever?  Maybe, you know, through student loans?  How about we stop bragging about our bullshit detector for a bit, okay?  Because if you had one, you wouldn’t have thought you could go $150k in debt for a sociology degree.  But see, ya did.  And now you want to bitch about how the church spends its money.  How do you spend your money?  Got an iPhone?  Couldn’t you get by with a cheaper phone and use that money to serve the poor?  How about that iPad?  How about those Beats headphones?  Couldn’t you go get a 20 dollar set and feed some people with the difference?   ***crickets***   No? By the way, by definition church records are easily available.  It’s a matter of law.  You would know this if you bothered to actually check rather than just mindlessly bitch on the internet.
7. We Want to Be Mentored, Not Preached At
Preaching just doesn’t reach our generation like our parents and grandparents. See: millennial church attendance. We have millions of podcasts and Youtube videos of pastors the world over at our fingertips.
For that reason, the currency of good preaching is at its lowest value in history.
Millennials crave relationship, to have someone walking beside them through the muck. We are the generation with the highest ever percentage of fatherless homes.
We’re looking for mentors who are authentically invested in our lives and our future. If we don’t have real people who actually care about us, why not just listen to a sermon from the couch (with the ecstasy of donuts and sweatpants)?
Oh, sweet Jesus… you think we go to church for the preaching.   Look, I’m going to type this slowly for you.  Church is something you are, not a place you go to.  We are the church all week long.  On Sundays we worship God together at our building.  But that is just a building.  We are the church.  Great sermons are nice but they have nothing to do with why we are the church.  We are the church because we are in the business of connecting people to Jesus Christ.  Something I notice you haven’t mentioned yet.
8. We Want to Feel Valued
Churches tend to rely heavily on their young adults to serve. You’re single, what else do you have to do? In fact, we’re tapped incessantly to help out. And, at its worst extreme, spiritually manipulated with the cringe-worthy words “you’re letting your church down.”
Millennials are told by this world from the second we wake up to the second we take a sleeping pill that we aren’t good enough.
We desperately need the church to tell us we are enough, exactly the way we are. No conditions or expectations.
We need a church that sees us and believes in us, that cheers us on and encourages us to chase our big crazy dreams.
You know why you don’t feel valued?  Because you haven’t contributed anything valuable yet.   Here’s a clue.  You’re told you aren’t good enough because it’s the truth.  You’re lazy, entitled, and largely useless.  You’re not the first lazy and useless generation and you won’t be the last.  Like so many others before you, you will simply be forgotten as other generations pick up your slack. Or you can grow up and actually do something for once.  And as for your crazy big dreams, just remember, the only thing stopping you is you.  Get off your butt and do it.  Or shut up about it.
9. We Want You to Talk to Us About Controversial Issues (Because No One Is)
People in their 20s and 30s are making the biggest decisions of their entire lives: career, education, relationships, marriage, sex, finances, children, purpose, chemicals, body image.
We need someone consistently speaking truth into every single one of those areas.
No, I don’t think a sermon-series on sex is appropriate for a sanctuary full of families, but we have to create a place where someone older is showing us a better way because these topics are the teaching millennials are starving for. We don’t like how the world is telling us to live, but we never hear from our church either.
This is just a blatant lie.  You don’t want that at all.  You want people to affirm the beliefs you already hold.  Any time we actually talk about these issues, you shut down completely and scream insults at us.
10. The Public Perception
It’s time to focus on changing the public perception of the church within the community. The neighbors, the city and the people around our church buildings should be audibly thankful the congregation is part of their neighborhood. We should be serving the crap out of them.
We desperately need to be calling the schools and the city, knocking on doors, asking everyone around us how we can make their world better. When the public opinion shows 1/3 millennials are ANTI-CHURCH, we are outright failing at being the aroma of Christ
Quick question… have you ever read Galatians?  Or well…  the Gospels at all?  If the world hates the church… then that is a sign the Church is doing its job.   If the Church is being embraced by the world… that proves the church is failing at its job.  And this is one more reason why we don’t listen to you.  Because you are selling poison.  Your solutions are suicide pills.  But you don’t know that because you’re a 20-something.   We can take a walk through any major city in the US and I can show you dozens of Churches that are doing exactly what you are calling for… and they are empty.  They are dead.
 
11. Stop Talking About Us (Unless You’re Actually Going to Do Something)
Words without follow-up are far worse than ignoring us completely. Despite the stereotypes about us, we are listening to phrases being spoken in our general direction. Lip service, however, doesn’t cut it. We are scrutinizing every action that follows what you say (because we’re sick of being ignored and listening to broken promises).
Say, I don’t know if you noticed, but no one was talking about you before you posted this.  We’re only talking about you now because you so desperately need to talk about you.   Maybe if you shut up about yourself for a bit, we would as well.  And as for what you’re sick of, let us fill you in on what we’re sick of.  We’re sick of your entitled bullshit.  No one from Gen X demanded the church change for them.   No one from the Baby Boom demanded the church change for them.  Oh, but you special snowflake millennials… you come along and we all have to bow to your whims and wants.   This is why we don’t like you.   This right here.
12. You’re Failing to Adapt
Here’s the bottom line, church—you aren’t reaching millennials. Enough with the excuses and the blame; we need to accept reality and intentionally move toward this generation that is terrifyingly anti-church.
To repeat a theme, the father failed to adapt to the whims of his prodigal son as well.
As for you being anti-church… Well, my prideful little snowflake, that’s your problem.  That’s not a church problem. The solution to every complaint you have can be found in one place.  The mirror.
I will wrap this up with a bit of personal advice.   Shut up and go to Church.   Stop asking yourself what the Church offers you.  Start asking what you can do for your church.   Stop expecting to be entertained or fulfilled by your church.  That’s not what the Church is there for.   For once in your life try to think about something other than yourself and your own personal wants.
 
 
 

34 Comments

  1. And have you checked your own eye for any planks recently?
    It was amazing that Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI were swamped at their world youth days and I don’t know of Frances has yet had one, but they saw something there. Holiness.
    Meanwhile the church is either the building, the congregation, or something purely spiritual depending on what you want to point out?
    I think it is simple.
    Most churches, pastors, congregations, especially the megachurches have nothing to offer. They never talk about salvation and damnation, they rarely talk about abortion, and often they sound more like Obama or Hillary if they do take up a meatspace issue.
    Evangelism is the holy spirit drawing someone to Christ. Christ was meek – which means power under control. He spoke with authority but gently, not with anger except to pharisees – which would be these false churchians today. He gathered the lost sheep. In 1 Cor 9:19 Paul talks about BECOMING all things to all so he could communicate the Gospel. He didn’t demand Greek pagans become Jews or read the Torah first.
    While it is fun to deride millenials, that doesn’t save them. It doesn’t even convict them. That just shows we are just like all the other Christian hypocrites not living the Gospel and there is nothing there but a bunch of people quarreling about theological minutiae. Or hurtling insults. THEY are stupid. THEY are lazy. THEY feel entitled to succeed by doing what they want, not what is needed.
    It would take a lot of time and effort to try to evangelize a millenial, so I’m not going to do it but don’t call ME lazy. I really don’t know about their pain and culture and refuse to really learn beyond the superficial stereotypes but don’t call ME stupid. They just have to come to Christ by whatever I decide to do – I’m getting a participation trophy for talking about them whether it converts even one, but don’t call ME entitled.
    Millenials are often damaged by divorce, or have seen the damage, yet I have not heard it mentioned in one sermon recently from what are otherwise faithful sources. Speaking out against no fault divorce and the culture of death might help, but we’d rather talk about whether or not to accept gay marriage (the churchians want to, the real Christians can’t).
    Many have crushing student load debt. The bible and the church have a long tradition of condemning Usury. But we never even hear the word today. Where was the church saying loaning to create debt slaves is evil? Find even one case. No the churchgoers like you told them to go to college and apply themselves so they could get a good income and pay back the loan and be a success. They did that. And found out they were lied to. They got all As but have no job. They learned STEM and have been replaced with an H1-B. Work at McD’s – they are replaced by a kiosk. They know the deck is completely stacked against them but no one told them the truth when they were 18. So they distrust you now that they are in their mid 20s and broke an in unpayable debt. Even now, although Usury is a grave sin, no one wants to propose relief. Where are the abolitionists for debt slavery?
    In 1925, Debt and contraception were considered grave evils, in 2015 credit and “family planning” are considered blessings. The bible didn’t change.
    But how about the black inner city? You know, where some do go to church, but 80% of children are born out of wedlock. Are they stupid, lazy, whiners too? Are you speaking the clear statistical truth about this? You’d be called a racist and be attacked. But is that not nearly identical and even worse than millenials? Going after easy targets? How many of the points above apply to the teenage single moms and gang bangers? We don’t want to ask that question lest we give the alt-white ammunition, and we are proudly alt-west.
    You would probably talk about how to pull blacks from the inner city up out of the fake Christianity that enables their bad behavior even if it is worse than millenials. But you don’t want to pull millenials up, just be the Accuser? Why are you discriminating? Why is one a victim, and the other totally responsible? Or feel free to correct me that maybe Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, etc. are totally lost so neither help nor insults will work there. Christ can’t save them?
    There are many other issues. Many millenials are pro-life but we don’t even take brave clear strong stands on abortion. Maybe someone will ask me about rape and incest so I can’t talk about it!
    The 3/4 of millenials who weren’t aborted should feel valued because they weren’t murdered by their mother? Especially if they were an “accident” when the contraception failed?
    An example of Christ? – nagging, insulting, not even trying to find common ground, you are complaining about them, I can see why they don’t like this side of the church. It hates them. The feminized churchians offer nothing since there is nothing there – they are too nice to actually care. But the WE HATE YOU LAZY BUMS church? that might even have a homeless outreach is actively telling them to go away because they are NOT wanted. And you wonder why they don’t like church or even that image of Christ?
    Paul preached Christ crucified for our sins and resurrected on the 3rd day. He didn’t insult the pagans for their practices, or even the Jews for their faithfulness, only the futility of the law.
    I’ve not found any church or Christian without some, often a lot of hypocrisy. Pro-life, but doesn’t care about “collateral damage” in undeclared wars. Against animal cruelty but wants torture for national security. Against demon rum, but obese and always first to the dessert or pasta table. All for having guns and martial arts training “to defend the innocent” but the abortion clinic down the street stays open and murders innocents daily. Complaining about Trump merely hiring CFR and GS people and you can watch the sermon on GomorrahVision, aka Google’s You-LGB-Tube.
    Millenials are hurting. The gospel is the cure, but in that is sympathy for the temporal damage of sins and even mistakes, and a willingness to help actually cure them in Christ. Their sins are forgiven, their lives can be made new. The socialists are the Samaritans showing a perverted mercy, but we are passing on the other side of the road shouting “It’s your own damn fault you got robbed, didn’t you know the Jericho road was dangerous!”.

    • TZ… The church isn’t there for them. Its not there to satisfy their whims or make them happy. The Church is the Bride of Christ. Not the non-binary boyfriend of the millennial generation.
      The Building is a place of worship. We are commanded to worship together. we are commanded to stay in the word.
      This little skank is upset that we don’t have enough meetings.

    • TZ,
      Your comment has many good points but unfortunately I don’t think any of them are relevant to this article. The original piece quoted was written by your typical Millennial, self-absorbed, egotistical, narcissistic, and utterly convinced that the world revolves around his little universe of one and that we are all supposed to be fascinated and caring for him and his plight.
      At least when Gen X stopped going to church they had the decency to admit that they just weren’t into it. But as with everything to do with Millennials, it always has to be about them. It’s always someone else or something else that has the problem. Their demands are incessant and unrelenting. If somehow the Church did listen to this moron’s idiotic list of 12 points and did somehow acquiesce to them, then the little twerp would come up with some other list within a very short space of time.
      And that is because his type always want an external excuse for their own inactions or why they never measure up. They don’t want a resolution because that would then require them to act in some why. It’s far more satisfying for them to be able to endlessly complain about all of the perceived injustices done to them and how hard done by they are.
      That is the central crux of Lector’s piece, and he is entirely correct.

    • tz wrote (July 11,2017 at 12:22 pm): “The bible and the church have a long tradition of condemning Usury. But we never even hear the word today. Where was the church saying loaning to create debt slaves is evil? Find even one case. ”
      “Even now, although Usury is a grave sin, no one wants to propose relief. Where are the abolitionists for debt slavery? ”
      “In 1925, Debt and contraception were considered grave evils, in 2015 credit and “family planning” are considered blessings. The bible didn’t change.”
      In all these things you are correct, and these are true conservative issues. Student loan debt prevents families from getting started. After marriage, debt is an evil that kills more families than infidelity ever could. Then when the marriage breaks, the State imposes crushing “divorce debt” on fathers without significant quid-pro-quo mandates for women (such as orders against alienating the children from their father).
      I’d like to hear more pastors speak out against these things. I’d like to hear them talk about ethical divorce, and how even after a divorce, the primary principle of marriage: to put the well-being of the Other equal to or above one’s own well being for all of life, must still be practiced.
      I’d like to hear more pastors preach against debt collection by Christians, and against lawsuits of any kind, and restore the Christian teaching that we do not use the courts against our brethren: and who are our brethren if not “our neighbors”?
      Thanks for bringing these issues up. It’s not a matter of “student debt”, so much as it is a culture of consumer slavery. If children learn from the pulpit and their parents to avoid debt, and to give rather than to lend, our nation will being a return to stability. Like the previous Greatest Generation before you, suit up, stand up, show up and keep the faith. God notices your work and He is saving your generation’s true successes as a gift for your old age.

  2. These little precious snowflakes want the Church of Me; it’s a church full of high self esteem narcissist. Earth to Millennials: your job is to conform your will with God’s will; you foolishly want God’s will to align with your own. I am listening and I hear is nothing but crap.

  3. I don’t really understand this person’s complaint, all I see are the kinds of churches he’s describing. A bunch of seeker friendly nonsense, preaching the feels instead of Godly principles.
    His list of problems is closer to a wish list for me than problems.

  4. Thanks for the article.
    Some nits:
    – Orphaned fragment from quoted article. “overwhelming task. We have to find ways to bridge that gap.”
    – Fisk is missing reason #10.

  5. Was this glorious reply posted to the statements somewhere or on the original site? Snowflakes really need to hear this. (I’m not clear if this was a blog or article that was posted somewhere else).

  6. This: “you’re not actually the first generation to do this. Kids falling away from church in their late teens isn’t new. The Baby Boomers did it. Gen X did it more. And now you’ve done it. Catch that? What I just said is, you’re not special. You’re not new. You’re not doing anything unexpected. These articles you’re reading? The same thing was said about Gen X 20 years ago. They were written about the Baby Boomers. …”
    is an important fact that is rarely mentioned anywhere. Large numbers of young adults of every generation fall away from church attendance in their busy 20s, and then return as their children get older or their lives settle. Even when families did keep attending, it was usually irregularly, and often the children would be sent by themselves to Sunday School, giving mom a breather to get the big Sunday Dinner ready. And even if Mom went with the children, usually Dad did not got, even way back then. I’ve a diary linked on my blog from the 1920s that shows one family’s pattern during that stage of life.
    It was evident in my own family. My grandfather was a Deacon & we went to church 3x a week with them when I was growing up, but when my mother was a child they were busy & she walked to the church on the corner alone, or went to church with her grandparents. My great grandmother taught Sunday School as a grandmother, but never went when her 7 children were small. These were not isolated instances but were the norm. I would not be surprised to find that Amish youth do the same.
    But the truism “when he is old he will not depart from it” holds true. A lot of church folk could save themselves a lot of angst if they recognized this is simply the way Church attendance flows in our lives, rather than constantly reviewing their marketing plans.

    • Church marketing changes is the problem though. Churches all over this country have abandoned Godly principles in favor Pop Culture ‘values’, to the detriment of themselves and Millennials. This has been going on for a couple of decades at least. They never should have started marketing themselves in the first place, but because they have, they bear little resemblance to there former selves from a generation or two ago, and thusly, need to change their ways to how they used to be, sermons on topics like Salvation, abortion, self-sacrifice, not sermons that push diversity is a strength, accepting gay marriage, turning the other cheek (usually completely misrepresented in most of today’s churches), and love songy-sounding hymns.
      In short, most chucrches have marketed themselves right of being relevant, let alone righteous.

      • I agree. Everything you said is “the problem”, and it all stems from consumer “Brand Marketing”. Other misguided changes are “Children’s Church” and “Youth services” that separate families during the sermon, and loud tear-jerker performance music that denies a shared culture of tradition to generations. Anyone who thinks a 6 year old cannot absorb the lessons & instructions from the sermon is not remembering their childhood.
        The idea of applying modern marketing techniques is building houses on sand. Meanwhile, the small “voices in the wilderness” that build on the Rock rarely get counted or profiled. I think it’s important we remember this and not get discouraged. Our Lord’s Kingdom has nothing to do with fashion or metrics, and the Saints multiply daily.

  7. I agree with 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, and this part of 11 is critical; “Words without follow-up are far worse than ignoring us completely.” Teaching new disciples of Christ, sometimes called discipleship, or what the whiner calls mentoring, the followers of Christ requires work. It’s not being done. The author doesn’t know that this is what they desire because they’ve never seen it or heard of it. Bad churches, cotton candy preachers abound. All of these complaints clear up when mature (not human age) followers of Christ start to wean infants off of milk and onto red meat. The writer is clearly searching, they are ready to start a little solid food.
    “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
    May the LORD find you busy at his plow.

    • Actually, oops on agreeing with 2. The writer needs to be taught our mission. “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
      Follow him – Believe on the LORD (yeah, that’s the love part)
      I will make you – Being transformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus
      Fishers of men- About the master business of spreading the gospel and raising up new disciples.
      It’s a lot easier to work folks who at least questioning. I do wonder if the person has asked somebody in their church that they admire for help with this. Hmm.

      • That’s highly unlikely Fred. This is a millennial we’re talking about. They don’t actually address their problems in real life. They just slink off and then whine on the internet.

    • As a Millennial who has gone through boot camp, I think that this is an excellent idea, and a good starting point.

  8. Millennial-mocking aside (I am an older Millennial, born in ’84, or as I jokingly like to call it, the year of Orwell), there is indeed a problem with today’s churches. Many have become feminized Churchianity versions claiming to be Christianity, and though your rebuttals in the above article make some fine points, I do think you failed to account for this aspect. What Millennials need most is leadership, not contempt, and before you shoot down this idea, please bear in mind that while there are plenty of SJW/Snowflake/Antifa Puke Millennials, there are also plenty of us Alt-Right/Alt-West/Alt-Lite types as well. In fact, I would wager that the Millennial generation is the most polarized, as well as polarizing, generation in American history, with the possible of exception of the dreaded Boomers.
    Few churches take up meat and potato issues, like Salvation and Damnation, abortion, immigration, gay marriage (oxymoron), Islam, et al. They are more concerned with making nice, love your neighbors, perverted good Samaritanism, putting women in positions of authority within the church, forgiveness for forgiveness’ sake or something, and hymns that sound more like love ballads and have little to do with God’s glory (seriously insert the word Babe/Baby in place of God, and prepare to cringe). For example, the church that I currently attend, in which my younger brother and I are the only male members of our age group (Millennial), is becoming (or already was, and I failed to properly take note of it) another of the aforementioned Churchianity churches, as the pastor recently gave a sermon extolling the lie that diversity is our strength. I really want to find a new Church for me and my wife and our four kids due to this, though my choices are limited/non-existent, as we live in a small town in rural NW Montana, and by rural, I mean that the nearest stop light is 55 miles away, and the deer outnumber the human population.
    This is the true problem with the concept of “Church” as it relates to Millennials, though the Millennial in the above article obviously lacks enough life experience to properly articulate it, let alone provide instructions on how to properly wipe one’s own backside, I would wager that if the vast majority of churches were less cucky/churchianity, versions, and more Patriarchy, Fire and Brimstone, meat potatoes types, more Millennials, in particular male Millennials, would start attending church regularly.
    TZ said:
    “Many have crushing student load debt. The bible and the church have a long tradition of condemning Usury. But we never even hear the word today. Where was the church saying loaning to create debt slaves is evil? Find even one case. No the churchgoers like you told them to go to college and apply themselves so they could get a good income and pay back the loan and be a success. They did that.
    THIS:
    And found out they were lied to. (Spacing added for effect)
    AND THIS:
    They got all As but have no job. They learned STEM and have been replaced with an H1-B. Work at McD’s – they are replaced by a kiosk. They know the deck is completely stacked against them but no one told them the truth when they were 18. So they distrust you now that they are in their mid 20s and broke an in unpayable debt. Even now, although Usury is a grave sin, no one wants to propose relief. Where are the abolitionists for debt slavery?”
    Few seem willing to address the elephant in the room regarding the bill of goods that my generation was sold, and this bill of goods coupled with the cucky/churchianity nature of many of today’s churches, it is no wonder that Millennials are disinterested or even outwardly hostile to the institution. Millennials, as a group, have been fed so many lies, that they may become the first generation that as a whole truly doesn’t trust anyone over 30.
    TLDR
    Churches have a genuine problem, many are cucked/churchianity ‘churches’, and Millennials have real genuine trust issues that are not easily overcome. That being said, I don’t know how to fix the churchianity issue nor do I know how to fix the trust issues that Millennials have, though both need to be addressed and fixed if Western Civilization is to survive.

    • I think you’re overstating the problem. We’ve had shitty generations before. We survived. The church has been wrestling with this problem since its inception. The book of Gallatians for example is rife with this kind of thing… as are most of the churches Paul writes to. They are all struggling with keeping to the Gospel vs adopting what is sensible and popular at the time.

      • An overstatement perhaps, but your brushoff on it seems to qualify as an understatement. The truth is likely somewhere in between?

        • Aragorn, You hit the nail in saying yours is a polarized generation. I think that millenials like you are going to end up being the ones who define your generation. I wrote this about GenX and your “older Millenials” in 2010. I don’t know if links are allowed here so a click on my name will take to to the specific article.

          • Nice article, Tina, thanks. Heroism is likely the same as beauty…it is in the eye of the beholder. I served four year in the United States Navy, though I would not characterize my service as heroic; it just seemed the thing to do at the time.
            I am now more concerned with ensuring that my four children inherit a better country than I received, and in that regard, I more than have my work cut out for me. As you put it, I don’t know if Millennials like me will end up defining my generation or not, but I do believe that older Millennials like myself, will assist GenXers like those on this site and others, to define the next 20 years, or die trying.

          • It is OK to provide links to specific articles, as long as you are not trying to sell something.

  9. Who is this original author? Young man? New York? Brooklyn? Non-profit? Sounds like he is steeped in leftist thought and wants to guilt trip those in the church for not conforming to his view of what the church should be. Perhaps the church hasn’t supported his non-profit, making his life more difficult – perhaps he is suicidal, which is why his non-profit is about preventing suicides. Who knows why he really went on this rant. He’s seems to be attempting to justify his lack of support for the church (perhaps New York churches specifically) through his article, acting like he is a thought leader for the millenial generation, meanwhile bringing contempt on both the millenials and the church…
    I was once a guy like him and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the church can only do so much with what little resources it has (and that includes people). People like myself and him need to do the best we can with what we’ve got to work with – pick up our own crosses and follow Jesus in the way he has called us. If he wants to do all that he mentioned in the article, what is stopping him? Fear of the world for acting as “radical” as he proclaims to want to? Rants like his do not help but only serve to demoralize…

  10. A 20 something public school teacher is qualified to do very very little and presumptively answering questions that haven’t been asked isn’t even in the same planet as what they are actually capable of.

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