Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why are millennials are leaving the church?

Rachel Held Evans answer seems to be attracting attention for some reason. Here are my first thoughts on an answer, for what it's worth...

Declining church membership is a Spiritual and not a sociological or marketing problem. It requires a Spiritual and not a sociological or marketing solution.

THE PROBLEM

Everyone is an individual, but you could follow Jesus and break down the reasons into three categories:

  1. Some people are hardened to the Gospel for a variety of reasons. They won't even take the time to think about the Gospel because the Devil snatches it out of their mind.
  2. Some people get let the Gospel get crowded out by other concerns in their busy lives. Earning and spending money consume whole lives - literally.
  3. Some people are afraid of the cost of following Jesus, especially the cost in their relationships to family, friends and colleagues.

My guess is that there is good reason to think that the later two have been particularly on the increase over the last few decades. I'm not sure whether the first is improving or not.

THE SOLUTION

  1. Preach the Gospel more - there will be no fruit without good seeds
  2. Recommend the Gospel more - by changed lives of love
  3. Pray for good soil more - because only God can change hearts.
  4. Send out more workers into the harvest - because the God uses people.

Simple, but not easy! Help us Lord!

1 comment:

  1. I like it Dave. I really like the solutions.

    It seems to me that you hit on the actual problem before your three definitions - Everyone is an individual. Individualism is a killer.

    I wonder if churches we're less individual, whether the message, the prayer and the sending out would have more impact. A strongly unified church has to count for something.

    Unified in more than a confession too. Or at least the confession needs uphold both orthodoxy and orthopraxis.

    No individuals means that every member owns the mission of the particular local church - no individual agendas. Joyful submission to the pastor and elders, no "me and Jesus" communion, not "my summer mission/camp" but whatever the church is doing. Totally on board, with and behind the local church in their outreach and vision. Sending church to church not individual to para-church organisation and so on.

    If we made more of just how strategic the church is - and how the bride is the conduit for blessing (word, sacrament and mercy) and the womb of new life, then *boom*

    And if churches were more like that, then I reckon a real gospel of a 'shift of union' from Adam to Christ which is wholly corporate would be seen to be attractive as well as heard to be attractive. Hence your problems 2 and 3 might be dealt a fatal blow.

    Anyway. Great thoughts here.

    Rich

    ReplyDelete