Congregational Life and Ministry, Millennials

Millennials Want a Courageous Church

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This post continues a series on the kind of church young people today are seeking.  It should be clear by now that this is not all that different from what most people are seeking. However, there are some stark differences in the level of importance one group places on these factors over and above another.

Millennials are seeking a courageous Church

Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.[1]According to Barna Research on Millennials a common struggle young people today are faced with are cultural challenges.  And the issue the church faces is how does it respond to that challenge of teaching cultural discernment to young adults?  Here is how Barna describes the landscape: “Millennials need guidance on engaging culture meaningfully and from a distinctly Christian perspective. This idea of finding a way to bring their faith in Jesus to the problems they encounter in the world is one of the most powerful motivations for today’s practicing Christian Millennials. They don’t want their faith to be relegated to Sunday worship, and this desire for holistic faith is something the Church can speak to in a meaningful way. “

So, what does this mean?

People in their twenties want to be challenged to think about difficult messages. They don’t just want to have easy topics each week. Millennials want to dive into difficult-to-understand topics and passages and explore how they apply. Take young people on a spiritual journey of discovery through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.  Provide an environment where you can have a dialogue to discuss real issues. For example, “Here’s why you should stay sexually pure until marriage. Here’s why it’s good to tithe. How do you witness to the LBGT community?”

Imagine a sermon series that address the question, “Can I be a Christian IF…” and you fill in the blank with some of the tough issues of our day, such as woman’s reproduction rights, social justice, race relations, and there is even some question if you can be a Christian if you are on one political side or the other. I understand there are some pastors out there getting nervous just thinking about taking on such possibly divisive issues.  Something for you to consider, if we can’t have these conversations in the church where can we have them?  Where can members go to get a balanced biblical dialogue about the questions that are running through their minds?  The internet is not the new source of truth.  And who better to lead this discussion than a person well versed in the understanding of the truth of God’s Word and the compassionate soul to respect other viewpoints, yet still point people to God’s divine plan for humanity?  Of course, to pull this off requires courage.

A Word of Caution

Jim Fiebig says, “There’s a fine line between courage and foolishness. Too bad it’s not a fence.”  This post is not a license to be mean or condescending.  Millennials and no one else wants to be apart of a church that condemns and appears intolerant. We want to approach tough issues with sensitivity and love while still holding to the truth of God’s Word.  That is a fine line and I don’t know where that line is until we cross it.  But we need to find a way to lead in this changing, scary at times post-Christian society.  May God gives us the courage and the wisdom to do just that.

[1] Eddie Rickenbacker, Bits & Pieces, April 29, 1993, p. 12.

Other posts on the topic:

https://revheadpin.org/2017/10/10/millennials-want-an-engaged-church/

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