7 Reasons Millennials Are Leaving the Faith

The fact that Millennials are leaving the church in droves is nothing new. According to Barna, as much as 80 percent of kids raised in church will disengage by the time they turn 29. Thankfully, recent studies are finally beginning to shed light on what is pushing them out the door—and how churches can bring them back to their faith.

  1. The family unit isn’t what it used to be

It is no secret that a person’s relationship with his or her earthly father influences the person’s perception of God. The church has willingly espoused this theory for generations. As divorce rates continue to climb and family units abandon traditions that have historically aided closeness (for instance, regularly shared meals, joint domestic responsibilities, and daily family time), father-child relationships have suffered. So, too, has this generation’s view of God as Father.

  1. Leadership lacks authenticity

Authenticity is more than a buzzword to this generation. Driven by a desire for transparency and honesty in all areas of life, Millennials can spot counterfeit commitments a mile away. Leadership that is unwilling to admit personal weaknesses or to take responsibility for hurts caused in the local assembly places its Millennial-aged parishioners on a fast track to leaving the church and, unfortunately in many cases, the faith.

Gone are days when church leadership must try to convince the congregation of a squeaky clean exterior. Likewise, transparency of business decisions (including but not limited to the church budget) are an absolutely necessity.

  1. Tolerance has become the gold standard

According to Pew research, 50 percent of Millennials are politically unaffiliated, and 29 percent are religiously unaffiliated. More than any other generation, Millennials have been taught ad nauseam that tolerance is the standard by which to measure all things. Millennials have been hardwired to welcome and accept all preferences and opinions.

Unfortunately, this plan doesn’t jive well with a Bible filled to the brim with clear assertions based on biblical truth. Bottom line: Jesus wasn’t tolerant of opinions that opposed the Word and will of God.

  1. Questions aren’t being answered

Millennials like to think. Additionally, they enjoy asking hard questions and discussing topics that were still considered taboo as recently as five or ten years ago. Gone are the days when pastors and teachers aren’t challenged for their private opinions or public positions.

Church leadership that can’t adjust to this type of transparency are at risk of pushing Millennials away. Just as Millennials are quick to spot an inauthentic person, so, too, they are skilled at understanding when the questions they ask go unanswered.

  1. Societal mediocrity is the norm

Though Millennials are often accused of being self-absorbed (thanks, in part, to the rise of social media) they have a strong desire to meet the needs of the world’s poorest or marginalized populations. Discontent to sit in a pew and tithe from their limited resources so that a prettier church building can be built or additional bounce houses can be rented, Millennials want to see their hard-earned time and money genuinely make a difference.

They would rather spend a day ladling broth in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter than sitting in a pew listening to someone talk about the love of Christ who does little to nothing to back it up once the Sunday sermon is completed.

  1. Culture wars are obnoxious

Plain and simple, Millennials are tired of talking about the same list of issues and preferences that pit believers against non-believers as if non-believers are somehow the enemy. They aren’t looking to abolish personal standards or convictions, but they are anxious to spend the majority of their time and energy pursuing the things Christ said clearly–such as loving the Lord with heart, soul, and mind, and loving neighbors as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).

  1. The church and the world look more alike all the time

The truth is, the same consumerism, compromise, and disharmony found outside the walls of the church can be found inside as well. This generation has no time for established religion that puts no feet to its faith.

Bottom line: While some people are pessimistic about Millennials–and, in the spirit of authenticity, not every attribute about today’s most-talked-about generation is worthy of praise–the fact remains. They are a creative generation uniquely gifted and desperately needed in the Body of Christ.

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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