As millennials are growing up, the numbers of church attendance for this age group are dwindling at record breaking rates. Personally, being a part of this age group, this is something I can verify as the current trend. In a recent study from Pew Research Center, it shows that now more than one third of millennials identify as being unaffiliated with any faith. The study concluded that in each generation the number of people who identify as Christians goes down with each new generation. The study also shows that 85% of people born from 1928-1945 identified as Christians, where as those born from 1990-1996 that identify as Christians has dropped sharply.
The percentage is now around 56% for the youth. Another study conducted by Rainer Research showed that Millennials who attended youth group as kids were 70% likely to leave the Church by the time they were 22 years old. When I was a kid there were tons of people I went to church with, only to find now they no longer go to church or believe in the Gospel. It’s unprecedented and sad. It breaks my heart for my generation, because I want nothing more than truth and righteousness to prevail.
So whats the problem? Why is the Church failing to reach an entire generation?
The main driver of this problem is that the Church is failing to teach the relevance of God’s word and how it applies to our youth. The culture in which we live in, which is designed by the enemy to put immense pressure on an individual to conform is winning. The enemy has a plan for millennials. It’s the Church’s job to instill Biblical principles to fight against the lies of the culture. However, more and more it seems the Church is shying away from topics that that are some of the biggest struggles for millennials. The youth cannot see the relevance in topics like sex, relationships, and things that have become cultural norms.
It’s not that the Bible doesn’t teach on these things, but it’s that the church is not effectively teaching what the Bible says on these topics. Culture says do what feels good, if you want to party, get drunk, have sex, and do drugs, then do it because it feels good. Culture says it’s no big deal, shrug it off, because these things are normal. Millennials are responding by partaking in the cultural norms. They’re not seeing sex and relationships, and life in the way that God intended. This is one of the biggest struggles of the youth today. They are only getting one side of the story, and that side is luring them in and destroying them. The church needs to take off the blinders and recognize that millennials are listening, but they aren’t hearing anything. God created us to have relationships, He created sex, to be enjoyed in the confines of marriage, and the Bible explicitly addresses these things.
Recently going through the Song Of Solomon, a book that I never understood until my church dived into it, I am reminded of how much better God’s plan for millennials is than what the culture teaches. The book addresses relationships, sex, and how God created those things to be. Millennials are abandoning ship though because a lot of church’s don’t talk about the real struggles today’s youth is having. They need clarity, they need to see God’s plan is better in every regard than the plan that the culture has for them.
Let’s have those tough conversations, let’s come beside millennials with grace, wisdom, and love and let’s teach them to be Biblically relevant. As the Church we need to raise a generation of children who understand the value of God’s Word and take it as the truth. Moving forward, we can restore a generation and lead them back to the Church.