Have you heard about the Millenials?
The “Millenials” means those Americans born after 1980 who began to come of age around the year 2000. According to the Pew Research forum, “fully one-in-four members of the millennial generation are unaffiliated with any particular faith.”
Before I identified as a Millenial, I was a Christian. The longer I identify as a Millenial, the harder it is for me to identify as a Christian.
We Millenials crave connection. I think every human on the planet craves connection but for Millenials we are so inundated with connections (through messages, screens, phones, social media, school groups, work groups, community groups) that we are weary of connections that are fruitless or based on false pretenses.
I, as a Millenial, am not anti-church. I am just not inclined to be as critical of the church as I am with every other source of connection – spiritual, physical, or intellectual.
Millenials don’t want to talk about what we are not, we want to talk about who we are. We relate to a Jesus whose connections were meaningful and on a first-name basis. We crave to be caught up in action instead of talk.
Here’s an example of students at James Madison University living out Jesus’ call to love one another.
At our worse, Millenials have a tendency to become over-connected and under-developed from the weight of so much. Perhaps too, the church is suffocating itself under the weight of so much that can be argued about and neglecting our responsibility to the Great Commandment: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength, and to love our neighbors as ourself.
I believe these three things:
– The message of God’s love for humanity offers the grace, peace, and belonging that humanity (even Millennials!) desperately need.
– The majority of millennials have thoroughly rejected the tenants of the shallow, narrow-minded, homophobic church.
– The more time that we waste our voice in futile arguments with these sinful churches the more we will be tuned out and deemed irrelevant too.
We must offer up a transformative song of love in our churches that is loud enough to drown out the arguments that millennials, you, and I are tired of hearing anyway.
Do you agree? What would this look like in your church?