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This Is Why My Generation Is Leaving The Church3 min read

May 29, 2013 3 min read

This Is Why My Generation Is Leaving The Church3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

exitI was born between 1980 and 2004, which makes me a Millennial. There are 77.9 million of us. This makes us the largest generation in history (The Boomer Generation (1946-1964) is 75.9 million in number)[1].

Next time you’re at church, look around. Even though Millennials are the largest generation, they’re probably the smallest group represented at your congregation. The Barna Group (interdenominational) found that 59 percent of Millennials who grew up attending church have now left[2]. I don’t have a specific statistic within the Lord’s church, but experience tells me it’s similar.

Something is wrong. Why is my generation leaving the church?

There’s not just one reason. Not only are we the biggest generation, but we are also the most diverse (racially, family background, &c). There are many reasons why we’re leaving.

But I’ll give you what I think is reason #1: the last generation didn’t challenge us enough.

Because we weren’t challenged, we didn’t grow as Christians. Our spiritual roots hardly penetrated the surface.

For whatever reason, we were babied. Maybe our parents & church leaders were lazy, and didn’t take the time to thoroughly teach and challenge us. After all, training requires hard work. Maybe our parents & church leaders underestimated our intelligence and underfed us with the “grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.” We are smart, and if our intellectual needs aren’t met inside the church, we look somewhere else. For whatever reason, we didn’t grow because we weren’t challenged.

These are some of the feelings my generation is expressing:

  • “My parents & church leaders didn’t prepare me for the real world.”
  • “The Bible was not taught clearly or often enough”
  • “I didn’t find my purpose.”
  • “What I was taught was irrelevant to the world I now live in.”

What I see is, by in large, the last generation failed to make New Testament Christianity appealing to my generation. The last generation failed to follow Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

  • We weren’t shown why we should be dedicated followers of Christ, as opposed to putting our faith in something else.
  • Our doubts and concerns were minimized and discouraged, instead of being thoroughly addressed and explained.
  • Our serious questions, if they were answered at all, were often answered with simple platitudes and insufficient clichés.
  • We weren’t taught the Bible. The last generation was good at proof-texting, but failed to demonstrate that the whole of God’s Word was “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12).  My generation, as a result, has very limited Bible knowledge.

In all, we weren’t challenged. And we are leaving because of it.

Let me add two things:

1. There are exceptions, and I am one of the exceptions. I was challenged and taught right. I have diligent Christian parents who raised me in the Lord. There are many good churches, church leaders, and parents who did challenge my generation. Those Millennials, for the most part, are faithful Christians.

2. The mass exodus of Millennials from the church is not exclusively the last generation’s fault. Millennials are responsible for their own faith. But Proverbs 22:6 means something. And many of us are leaving the church because we weren’t shown that the Lord’s Church is the most precious thing of which to be a part.

How can we keep those that are left? We’ve got to challenge my generation. We must teach them God’s Word. We need to engage their minds and demonstrate that New Testament Christianity is relevant and meaningful. We need to show them that being faithful child of God is the only way to find true success and happiness.

Learn from what we are seeing. Don’t make the mistake of saying, “Oh, people are going to leave.” That kind of logic is one of the reasons my generation is leaving.

[1] Page 8. The Millennials: Connecting America’s Largest Generation (2011). Thom Rainer & Jess Rainer. B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee.

[2] Page 23. You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church– And Rethinking Faith. Kinnaman, David, and Aly Hawkins. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2011.

Ben Giselbach is the pulpit minister at the East Side church of Christ in Cleveland, TN. He and his wife Hannah have three children, Ezra, Colleyanna, and Eliza Jane. Ben is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University and has returned to pursue his MDiv. He has written three books in his You Are A Theologian Series (Thinking Right about the Bible, Thinking Right about God, and Thinking Right about Salvation) and co-authored It's There In Black and White: 37 Questions about Racial Tension in the Church.
  1. George S

    Youth ministry is not a problem in and of itself, but the youth ministers coming out today simulate denominationalism. Everything is about having fun (which is not a bad thing) while neglecting the importance of the church, what it means to be in the church, and the price of the church. And then when people get older and the "meat" of the Word is being taught to them, they simple leave for the milk because they were never taught and never matured. Good article!

  2. George S

    One last note in regard to my previous post: I was a counselor at a church camp here in West TN. Every year they had 1 hour of free play (everything was structured... Bible Classes, recess, girls swimming, guys swimming, nightly devo, etc..). The camp director two years ago cut into the "free play" portion, a time where most people took a nap, for Bible bowl study and there was a family (a preacher's family nonetheless) who did not send their kids because they were mad this took place. Two of the women counselors (preacher's wife) got mad and said this was too rigid, they are taking all the fun out of it. Keep in mind, all that was done was they substituted nap time for Bible Bowl study. Yet, these same people will lament and wonder why the youth are leaving.

  3. Brad Smith

    I agree with both of you. But when you think of it, the parents of the the Millennials are now the elders, deacons, and ministry leaders of today's congregations today which means there continues to be a struggle for teaching and standing firm upon the foundations of God's word. There is a "let's all just get along" mentality that doesn't seem to care much about the "little details" of God's authority. As one eldership states it, "We are not going to encourage, nor are we going to deny it." It's these types of inconsistencies that are troubling our youth today and those who are trying to get back to God's word. Many difficulties are ahead but, nevertheless, God's Truth will be revealed.

    • calvin ramsey

      I agree with Brad.I see this all too much in the church today.I see a lot of toleration of things that the church would address not long ago.Some people are living together and not married but still active in church work and the leadership knows it but just tolerate it.And many other things that defile the soul.No one wants to be hated for speaking truth in love but sometimes a body has to:)

      • calvin ramsey

        Thanks for the allowing us the chance to talk about these things Brother editor:)

  4. James

    Hi. I'm going to tell you the real reason why people are leaving the church:The Internet is challenging everything that the church says. Using technology more recent than the Internet, we can fact check the things coming from the pulpit in real time from our smartphones. If the pastor/preacher/teacher says something from an email he read, we can hit Snopes before he finishes his story. Most stories from the Bible have extensive Wikipedia entries that provide multiple perspectives which are often contrary to the church's message. On topics such as creationism and the history of the Bible, the Internet can give us far greater detailed proofs and scientific evidences why the church's message is wrong. On topics such as equality for gays and lesbians, the message that we get from the church is downright hateful at times. Using Facebook, we get a much clearer look at the lives of our gay and lesbian friends and we quickly learn that they aren't bad people (despite what our preacher tells us).The Internet brings this big, big world to our computer screens and it's teaching us that the old world views that the church told us are mostly wrong. No amount of Bible study counters solid evidence and that's why many are leaving the church.

    • Ben

      James,I don’t know your background, but it is obvious that you have been disenfranchised by mainstream Christendom. I have too, and I can relate to the frustrations you have mentioned.I only want to believe and teach that which is factually true. Because I have a rational, logical faith, I have surveyed the evidence and have come to the firm conclusion that God exists and that the Bible is the inspired message from God. (For your amusement, I invite you to look at this less-than-thorough article). At this point, I’m sure we disagree. But we would both agree that the current religious landscape of our society is confusing and makes a mockery of Christianity. This is why I argue for a return to the simple Christianity you read about in the Bible.I encourage you to use the Internet, which you and I are both fond of doing, and approach the Bible with an open mind. Just because there are messages contrary to the Bible doesn’t mean they are true. There will always be contrary messages in life; it is our obligation as lovers-of-truth to sift through the contradictory messages and determine that which is truthful. If you have any questions about anything, I would be honored to do my best to answer them. My E-mail is regards, Ben

      • Adam Hollinsaid

        I would like to take a moment and recognize the response given here by Ben. I would love to use this as a study guide for so many people within the church today regarding how we should have a conversation concerning our faith with someone that probably doesn't share our point of view. Respectful and polite without compromising truth. Compassionate and sincere without being patronizing or condescending.Thanks for your well thought out and sincere response to an honest and familiar objection Ben.Adam.

    • Lara C

      I rarely post, but as a reply to some these comments, there is a world of evidence for what the Bible says about creation and scientific principles. Remarkably, there is very little provable evidence for what is taught in mainstream schools, like evolution as a theory of creation. I won't disagree about the hatred we often see toward homosexuals...and that's the wrong stance to take. But our generation's shuffling of morals is tough for some to counteract...not everything CAN be "right" or godly. I am not excusing it, though! The best preachers/teachers I have heard can address it biblically without being accusatory or unkind. Anyway, as to the first point, James, I'd encourage you to check out some of the studies of Brad Harrub or Kyle Butt. I don't think we'll ever get away from anecdotes that can be easily checked (and found wrong) through the Internet (the stuff of many a Wednesday night devotional, right?), but I hope you consider that massive amounts of scientific evidence may very well point to the simple story of creation found in Genesis.

    • Michael Knox

      James, there is a major fallacy with your proposition. You assume that the material on the internet is authentic and accurate. However, 9 out of 10 times it is neither. This does not mean though that there is not a wealth of accurate nad reliable information available on the internet - there is. However, one must consult and search out the original sources and carefully consider the agenda and spin of the one writing the material. Generally, many people, both young and old, fail to critically analyze the information they are given. The Bible praised the Bereans for their critical analysis of even the apostles' teachings (Acts 17.11). We must "Test all things, hold fast that which is good" (1Thessalonians 5.21).

    • Milton Chaney

      Snopes is run by one couple. Wikipedia entries can be edited by anyone. I recently heard a preacher say from the pulpit that God's Word does not change but we need to change our methods. My question is, "When did God's method become obsolete - Each One Teach One?

    • Scott A

      James.... where to begin? People aren't leaving the church because the internet tells them the preacher/teacher is wrong. People leave the church because the church has failed to teach the truth, in love. We have handed out platitudes and have spoken of tolerance yet denied the fact that God hates sin! The church, as the author of this article put it, has failed to make the message relevant and address sin issues. When the church quits teaching and starts watering down things, sometimes for the sake of tolerance or not wanting to offend, people will look elsewhere for the "truth" whether it be on the internet or wherever. The "internet" isn't new.... the media from which we gain our information is new and is constantly transforming, but from the day Adam fell, we have been looking for something or someone other than God for our answers to life's questions. When we look elsewhere is when we begin to "feel" like we've been lied to or haven't been told the truth. We are no longer challenged in the church because of the tolerance and watering down of the truth.

    • Todd Mikula

      I was not raised in the church, struggled with the things James mentions, and was frustrated that Christianity was not united (how could four different "Christian" denominations occupy the same intersection?).There is a fair amount of criticism regarding how some teach those outside the church of Christ. True, some approaches are inappropriate but context can also dictate what we say and HOW we say it. Remember, the body of Christ is comprised of many members, many talents, and many personalities. God will use our personalities to His advantage. Let’s not criticize other’s approaches just because they don’t agree with ours.Three points: 1) If anyone would have observed some of the Biblical arguments a friend of mine had with me, many would have concluded my friend took the wrong approach. However, I am a Christian today, in part, because of HOW he shared the message with me. I needed to be confronted before I was convicted. 2) Jesus and the disciples were destroyed because of their message. Would we have admonished them? After all, they were clearly upsetting people. 3) I think we sometimes put too much weight on our abilities. Is not the sinner also responsible for finding Truth? There is a passage that starts out, “Seek and ye shall find…”. I found Truth because I prayed for and sought it. Would I have preferred a little more gentle treatment at times? Of course! But a sinner’s relentless pursuit of Truth will overlook the imperfections of our approaches.

  5. Michael Knox

    I am a gen Xer and I can honestly say that I saw this coming. When I grew up in the church, our teen class topics included "Why I am a member of the church of Christ," "Doctrines of the Bible," "Evangelism," "Comparative studies of the various prevalent denominations with the Bible," etc. Several years later, when I visited my home congregation, the VBS was puppets, skits, and playtime. I remarked to the leaders of the church there that this will lead to the demise of the church. While I was met with accusations of legalism and narrow-mindedness and dismissed as being just a young, inexperienced preacher, my belief has been vindicated. My youngest sister's generation does not have the spiritual stamina to hold to the good fight. They are not even sure what they are fighting for or if it is worth it. Sadly, the above article is spot on. Unfortunately, I see an even worse future for my daughters' generation - complete denominationalism. She frequently reports that classes, devos, and youth events are not challenging and that her youth class teachers generally are ignorant of doctrine and given to compromise. This should not surprise us because those who are the youth leaders today are of the mellenial generation and they themselves lack spiritual roots. Brothers and sisters, let us again return to the simple faith and teaching of plain, Bible doctrine.

    • Adam B

      Amazing to me the shouts of "legalism" anytime someone wants to simply stick with Bible teaching. We get that enough from denominationalists, but from within our own brotherhood? That is sad. I echo your last sentence, brother, may God strengthen His church in these dark days and those days to yet to come.

  6. Jerry Weldon

    Enjoyed your article. Agree with everything you wrote! Along with the lack of challenging.. Political Correctness, Tolerance and Evil Companions (ICor.15:33) have had a bit to do with the departure! I know several strong Christian families who sent their children to some of our so-called Christian colleges only to have the kids come home thinking the old time religion was too old timey for them. They love the entertainment. And, those who graduated from state schools with their faith were indeed strong in the faith before going! Our world is going to hell in hand basket and what's in the world finds its way into the church soon! Our nation from the White House to the church building no longer stand for anything biblical! I find churches standing on the apostles doctrine (Acts 2:42) in love are being hardest hit! Peter wrote about a departure. I think that is true if every generation! Paul said Demas had left loving the world MORE! One thing I did disagree with somewhat. I do not think the Millennial are smarter! Every mind needs to be challenged!Jerry Weldon

  7. Ben

    Just a reminder of my comments policy (see here: Specifically I would like to stress that you keep your comments under 250 words and that you make sure your comments are relevant to the article. There have been a few comments, some really good, that I couldn't approve. Thanks for the good and encouraging comments so far!

    • Robbie Kirby

      Ben, your article was excellent and I appreciate your honesty and willingness to speak up in a world that does not want to hear the truth.  I see from the older generartion that there was not enough  self-discipline, respect for God's word and His authority.   Too many members of the Lord's church just warm the pews and have not been a Christian example to our young people.   Now, having said that, write an article letting us know what as an older person we can do about it.  Keep up the good work.   

      • Ben

        Hey Mrs. Kirby! It is good to hear from you; I hope we can run into one another again. Thanks for the kind words. You asked for a follow-up article, so here it is: "This Is How We Can Keep My Generation From Leaving The Church"

  8. JT Wheeler

    Let me speak as a boomer: we are spoiled brats. And our children have suffered as a result. The "Greatest Gen" had all sorts of troubles they were determined to keep from us. Nuclear war chilled them, to the bone. Einstein showed them reality was not what they could deduce on their own. And they were thinking, maybe THEIR children (the best and brightest up to then) would lead the way to a better life. So they treated us as perennial kids and gave us whatever we wanted. So when the next group came along, we were not about to make room. WE were the answer, not these fetal upstarts. And so...we made nothing better, squandered our opportunities, and now expect in our old age for our children to "worship" us just as our parents did, getting here just in time for Obamacare and the Death Panels. Something terribly strange and poetic in that, don't you think?So, kids, what you will have to do is relearn--everything. Hopefully you will have the time before you (or YOUR children) blow yourselves up. Cynical? Not at all. Just plain.

  9. Adam B

    People have to want God in their lives, and have to understand what that commitment means. They also must understand that you have to do it HIS way or you're serving yourself. Kids these days are raised on "love love love" all the time and don't have a respect for fear or reverence to anything. Kids are also raised on "do whatever makes you happy" instead of "do the right thing." While my parents weren't exactly religious, they raised me to fear authority and told me to do the right thing, which ultimately led me to making that commitment to God and trying to live my life for Jesus. I thank God for that everyday.

  10. Tammy McCown

    I have asked why this age group is leaving and the response I get (adding to the list above) is no or limited boundaries. Like children need boundaries, the church does too. They often see people hanging in the foyer during all of Bible class and all of worship, deacons and their families do not attend on a regular basis, excuses are made by everyone and discipline had gone away!

  11. Titus

    Ben,Your theory lacks evidence. By your definition, I too am an "exception," but I completely disagree with you. The suggestion that maybe some of our leaders were "lazy" isn't a fair one. Once someone reaches the age to leave the church, they're old enough to understand what they're missing out on. Instead of asking "Who's to blame?" the article should have asked "How can we fix it?"So we're to start "challenging" anyone that's left? Not find out why young adults are leaving in the first place? Retraining or reteaching God's Word isn't a solution, in my opinion. You've got to meet people on their level—that's what Jesus did.Christianity isn't about a series of challenges. And it's definitely not about blaming someone else.

    • Ben

      Hey brother! It is good to hear from you. Haven't talked to you since college.I'm trying to figure out exactly where we are in disagreement; I gently think there is a misinterpretation somewhere. My article was merely a humble attempt to explain why I think - which I know is subjective - my generation left. I gave a general reason, and a general solution. Perhaps I can write another post specifically answering the "How can we fix it?" question."Meeting people on their level" is exactly what I think we should do. In fact, it is an inseparable part of challenging people. Instead of brushing young people off, giving them cold, hard, irrelevant facts about theology, we need to challenge them by meeting them where they are, answering their serious questions in a meaningful, thoughtful way, teaching them - not telling them - God's Word, and genuinely training them to be disciples of Jesus.What I'd like to communicate is that 59% is a big number. An unprecedented number. Maybe this mass exodus is not exclusively my generation's fault (although every individual is ultimately responsible for his own salvation - Phil. 2:12). Maybe Proverbs 22:6 really does mean something; If a child grows up and "departs from it," his upbringing in the church and at home might have at least something to do with it. Who will say that the last generation didn't make any mistakes? We all make mistakes. Let's not make the mistake of not learning from the last generation's mistakes. Let's challenge our children, and ourselves, to truly be disciples of Jesus. That's all I am trying to say. To read more into it is to go beyond the simple message I am trying to communicate.I hope your life is good these days, and that your work is going well. Give Emily my regards. Love you, brother!-ben

  12. Darryl

    I enjoyed the article and I think it is imperative to consider the hows and whys of what is happening in to our brothers and sisters in Christ whether they be boomers, X'ers or Y'ers.I'd be curious to know what is meant by:1. There wasn't enough preparation for the real world2. The Bible wasn't taught clearly or often enough3. What was taught was irrelevant to the world.4. We weren’t shown why we should be dedicated followers of Christ, as opposed to putting our faith in something else.5. Our doubts and concerns were minimized and discouraged, instead of being thoroughly addressed and explained.6. Our serious questions, if they were answered at all, were often answered with simple platitudes and insufficient clichés.7. We weren’t taught the Bible. The last generation was good at proof-texting, but failed to demonstrate that the whole of God’s Word was “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12).BTW, I'm not disputing these suggestions, but truly seeking some understanding as to what these things mean in this context.You may be accurately representing what this generation is saying. However, their complaints/observations come across as "insufficient cliches" without fleshing them out a bit more.I was just made aware of your page and have enjoyed perusing it.

    • Ben

      Darryl,Thanks for the questions and the kind words. As this was a vague article, with vague solutions, it leaves many questions unanswered. I suppose it would take several books to do this topic justice. On top of this, a 'failure to be challenged' is just one of many reasons why people leave the church. Concerning the things the generation who has left the church is saying (Your #1-3), those are merely the sentiments of many who have left. Sometimes they are merely excuses; they're easy things to say if you are lazy and just want to live a worldly lifestyle. At other times, they have [at least a little bit] of truth to them. Perhaps they didn't hear many lessons about especially relevant topics (#1, #3), or they were only told cold, nebulous facts about the Bible instead of being taught the Bible (#2). Either way, legitimate or not, that is what some are saying. I'm just the messenger.#4-7 are very interesting to me. Let me elaborate a little bit. Many times, our children are being raised in the Church without any good Christian role-models and examples. Sometimes even most (including the leadership) of the members are hypocritical and inconsistent in their lifestyles. Our children, being more intelligent than we give them credit, realize this. They see the rampant sin in the lives of many of the members, and they conclude that there is no difference between the life of a Christian as opposed to a non-Christian. They never knew how wonderful and fulfilling it is to be a dedicated follower of Christ because they never saw it in the lives of their elders. That's #4.Let me lump #5-6 into one example. Let's say a 12 year old boy raises his hand in Bible class and asks his elder, who is teaching the class, how we know God exists. The elder, who himself has not given much thought about even basic Christian evidences, feels insecure and annoyed. So instead of answering the 12-year-old with something like, "That is a great question! I want to give you a really good answer, so let me think about it and talk to you before our next class," he says rashly, "Well, you know God exists every time you see a beautiful sunset. It is stupid not to believe in God." A 12-year-old boy is smart enough to see through that answer and immediately knows it is insufficient. He wants a meaningful, thoughtful answer, and instead he was brushed off and his serious question was minimized. This is just an example, but things like this happen all the time, sadly, in many of our congregations. With careless answers like that, our children are left hungry and will find answers to their questions from school or from Google.An example of an "insufficient cliche" would be: "We need to be silent where the Bible is silent." Let me be clear: I agree with this completely! I believe with all of my heart we need to speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent. But to our young people, this saying needs to be clearly explained. It means nothing to young people who don't quite understand what it means. Yet, when our young people ask questions, we often just give them answers like these, without thoroughly explaining how God intends for us to practice our N.T. Christianity.#6 is hard to concisely explain. Proof-texting is where you build entire theological arguments from one single verse. By itself, there is nothing wrong with this. But used extensively, it can be dangerous. Our children are growing up in homes and churches where every theological thing they hear/read is taken from numerous verses, jumping around all over the pages of Scripture. Very seldom, I think, are our children shown to look at the Bible as a whole and do real exegetical (for lack of a less theological word) studies. In college, I heard this feeling from my peers fairly frequently. They never quite mentally grasped the beauty of the Bible as being the powerful, understandable, living Word of God. To many, it is merely a reference book. And this is sad.I merely wanted to point out that 59% is a big number, and that if Proverbs 22:6 means anything at all, maybe we can do a better job at raising the next generation.

  13. Kim

    We left a congregation when our oldest daughter was in 5th grade because we saw they were not doing a good job of teaching the Jr and Sr high what God expected of them. On Sunday nights and Wednesday nights they were not required to be apart of the services with the rest of the congregation. What were they going to do as they got older and thought the Sunday night preaching was "boring" and they couldn't just get out of it. Some time after we left the elders tried to fire the youth minister with cause. A few parents of the youth group pitched such a fit that the elders were forced to "unfire" him. I was taught that an elderships authority is absolute. I would have never acted the way some of these parents acted at this meeting with their teenage children watching. It caused their children to loose all respect for the elders as well as many in attendance to loose all respect for them. After this, many of those with kids who had not already left the congregation, left and joined us at another congregation in town with much more conservative elders. Our youth learn the Bible in their classes, during their retreats, and while teaching VBS to others. One summer 70 off our kids went to a congregation were the youth group was not strong in the Lord or supportive of each other. After a week of being influenced by the closeness and Christian Love showed by our youth group, a couple of there members were baptized, and according to their minister, the whole youth group was changed for the better. What a difference a strong eldership with parental support can make.

  14. Beth Johnson

    Matthew 13:3-93 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. KJV

    • Billie D. Cartwright

      The thing about Christianity is first each individual is responsible for their own spiritual maturity and secondly the man shall teach the woman in church and the woman shall teach the children at home. The main problem in the Body of Christ is the Whole counsel of God must be preached, not just Grace and Baptism. It is quiet possible that even if they say they do not believe once saved always saved, they practice it. Who confesses their sins publicly and the sins that bring death must be repented and not just asked for forgiveness because your prayers will not be heard and those who shirk their duty just to keep people feeling good do not love their brother as Christ loved them, revealing all that the father told Him. For this reason God is spanking the Church and giving us leaders we deserve.

  15. Ben

    A follow-up article: "This Is How We Can Keep My Generation From Leaving The Church"

  16. Mike

    I was born in 1975. I am neither a Boomer nor a Millennial. BUT, I can tell you why millennials are leaving but no one in that group wants to hear it. I was a youth minister for 12 years and saw it in every group. They don't like being told right and wrong and they don't want to hear the truth. They are rejecting the Bible for the world's definition of good and evil. The false gospel of Social Justice has become the new fad. They now embrace homosexuality, adultery, atheism, pre-marital sex, abortion, as just fine in God's eyes as long as you say you love him and other people. Moralistic, Thereputic Deism. It's false and they need to repent.

  17. johnrevell

    Ben, nice wake up call!As a boomer, I see all the time that so many people are ‘talking the talk,’ but leaving out ‘walking the walk.’ Parents drop their kids off at Sunday School, and go off and do other things. Children quickly learn that you don’t need God to get by in life - their parents teach them that!The biggest failure in any congregation I’ve been a part of is the dependence on the church to teach the rudiments of faith and the practice of Christianity. It’s not the churches job! If the parents don’t spend their own time at home in the word and praying instead of watching TV and playing video games, the kids will come to church and have no interest or desire. Every child knows intimately what his parents are thinking by how they act. Way back in Exodus, God commanded the parents to teach the children. We’ve obviously lost sight of that.I ran a teen’s/young adults class for two years where all we did was answer questions. Kids would bring their questions about everything even vaguely scripture-related to class, and the class would work at answering them. I will cautiously say that if any church-member with his daily Bible studies can’t work out answers to the questions kids have, they are not working very hard at it - or the spirit isn’t working.

    • Ben

      Really great thoughts! I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for sharing.

    • Blanche Quizno

      johnrevell, Ben, and everyone else - whatever happened to the idea that "God" is supposed to "move" people, "speak to their hearts", etc. etc.? You make it sound like, if children are not properly brainwashed to attend church without questioning, they won't go! What does that say about God and God's supposed power/influence/whatever? If the church can only survive if small children are intensively indoctrinated, then the church does not deserve to survive.If people don't want to attend church, you can chase your tail 24/7 deciding who's at fault and what went wrong. But the bottom line is that your church is simply not appealing, it's not attractive, it offers *nothing* they want and *nothing* they need. How can I make such a sweeping statement?Simple. If they wanted or needed what you're selling in your churches, they'd be there. No two ways around it. Christianity is in steep decline worldwide, and it has failed at its efforts to attract educated adults. There is no religion in the world that is adding via conversion significant numbers of educated adults. There will be no widespread "revival" of Christian belief, because Christianity has always relied on coercion and force. That's how the Catholic Church was able to maintain a monolithic presence for so many centuries - by threatening any dissenters with torture, imprisonment, and execution! Now that we won't let Christians threaten and harm others, Christianity is waning. A religion based on coercion can't survive where secular law protects everyone's right to be left alone.

  18. brianwall


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