A recent survey found that the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians is dropping. Right now, it’s just 70.6%. Furthermore, millennials (those 30 and under) are leaving the church in droves. The question is, why—and how can we get millennials back into the church?
We’re Trying Too Hard
According to Christian writer Rachel Held Evans, if you want millennials back in the pews, stop trying to make church cool. Of course, many millennials don’t see church as cool now. They often see it as made up of too many rules and regulations. Evangelicals in particular are often accused of being obsessed with homosexuality and abortion. However, “hipper worship bands” may not be the answer. Evans explains that many millennials are “drawn to high church traditions” because they seem more unpretentious.
We Depend on Pat Answers
Millennials often get frustrated with church because they think their leaders give pat answers to tough questions. They want to know if Jesus is the only way to Heaven, where did the Jewish Holocaust victims go? Can I be a Christian and gay? Is the Bible relevant right now? Even if we don’t have clear answers, we need to listen and respond intelligently.
There Are Too Many Activities
Millennials’ lives are chaotic, and they see church as another “place to ‘do’ rather than ‘be.’” According to millennials, church overwhelms them with too many activities and stuff. Some millennials believe that while focusing on being Jesus to others is great, there isn’t enough focus on rest and communion with God. They need a place to breathe, and church can and should be that for them.