There is no end to books are articles being written about why Millenials are leaving the church and what we ought to do about it. The experts weigh in and tell us that this needs to change or that needs to change. In the midst of all this I really appreciated this article by Brett McCracken entitled “How to keep Millenials in the church? Let’s keep church uncool.” You’ll want to click over and read the full article. But here’s an excerpt that really stood out to me:
Millennials: why don’t we take our pastors, parents, and older Christian brothers and sisters out to coffee and listen to them? Perhaps instead of perpetuating our sense of entitlement and Twitter/blog/Instagram-fueled obsession with hearing ourselves speak, we could just shut up for a minute and listen to the wisdom of those who have gone before?
And for pastors, church leaders, and others so concerned with the survival of the church amidst the glut of “adapt or die!” hype, is asking Millennials what they want church to be and adjusting accordingly really your best bet? Are we really to believe that today’s #hashtagging, YOLO-oriented, selfie-obsessed generation of Millennials has more wisdom to offer about the church than those who have thought about and faithfully served the church decade after decade, amidst all its warts, challenges and ups and down?
And then his conclusion:
I’m not saying that the church should never listen to the audience or pay attention to data and trends. It’s just that more often than not, the “just tell us what you want us to be!” approach does more harm than good, turning the church into a shape-shifting chameleon with ever-diminishing ecclesiological confidence and cultural legitimacy. It smacks of desperation and weakness.
As a Millennial, if I’m truly honest with myself, what I really need from the church is not another yes-man entity enabling my hubris and giving me what I want. Rather, what I need is something bigger than me, older than me, bound by a truth that transcends me and a story that will outlast me; basically, something that doesn’t change to fit me and my whims, but changes me to be the Christ-like person I was created to be.