Young people today are much less likely than their parents or grandparents to identify as Christian. This is a sad fact, but knowing our children and grandchildren fall into this group makes it much more important.
There are lots of personal reasons why some Millennials won’t come to a service, but there are factors that affect the entire generation, too. If we take the time to understand what motivates these young adults, we can find better ways to reach them.
Why Millennials Stay Away
As a generation, Millennials see a lot of disruption in their lives. Technology changes at an unbelievable pace, and they’ve grown accustomed to this time of uncertainty in other aspects, too. The mobile lifestyles and need for instant gratification make it hard for them to settle into churches. Lots of churches try to market Jesus to them with “cool” ideas, but this ends up feeling forced and pushing them away.
It’s no secret the younger generations are very, very different from the older ones. Their mindsets are completely different on almost every issue, but appearance causes a problem in particular. More than 50 percent of Millennials have a modified appearance. This includes tattoos, piercings, hair colors, and more. As a whole, they’re concerned the church will criticize them for their choices, especially about the way they look.
Another reason Millennials avoid the church is they associate religion with hypocrisy. Judgmental attitudes, movements, and news stories have painted Christianity in a negative light for many of them – and it’s hard to recover from a bad reputation.
In short, Millennials stay away because they don’t feel that church is as important. The only way to remedy this is by showing them constant acceptance, love, and forgiveness – just like Jesus does.