Are Millennials Leaving God or Are They Leaving a Broken System?


January 2017 I wrote the following:

This Kim Burrell thing is so much bigger than Kim Burrell. This statement is not to discount anyone’s views, instead, it’s meant to draw attention towards something else. When I first saw the news reports, I was appalled. My feeling was not directed at what was alleged because I didn’t have enough information to formulate an opinion. Instead, my feeling was prompted with how the Church was represented in the reports and the subsequent damage I felt this would do to our image, indirectly God’s image, because we are Christ’s representatives and ambassadors in the earth (1).

There is a generation, my generation – millennials and under, that are being pushed away, being pushed out, and repulsed for the most part, by things such as these.

These things, along with many others, turn many off and can you blame them? Would you want to be involved with an organization that appears to promote hate and is portrayed as pushing intolerance? 

Live streamed on periscope February 2017 | watch time: 11:37 Minutes

Over the weekend, this unfinished work reemerged in my thoughts, as I was asked to read an article about millennials exiting the church. I didn’t particularly care about the tone in which the writer wrote – yes, your writing has a tone – or even much of what was said, but I believe in “not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” So, while the baby in that water was a “premi”, I managed to save him, taking from it what I could. 😝 

After an initial once over and second reading, I decided to check out another article I’d heard about. This one was written by a gay black man who encouraged millennials to exit the church, based on his personal experience and sordid news reports.

It’s undeniable that people are leaving the church, that millennials are leaving the church, and that America is becoming increasingly more accepting of various beliefs. My theory is that it’s vastly due to the Church’s misrepresentation of God at large.



The following chart is from a Pew Research Center publication released on 2.17.17, Americans Express Increasingly Warm Feelings Toward Religious Groups.


Ratings of religious groups vary more widely among older than younger Americans



The misrepresentation of God has caused His Name to be sour in the mouths of many.

As it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” 

Romans 2:24 MEV

And yes some Millennials are leaving the church, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are leaving God. In one of the above-mentioned articles, the gentleman referred to himself as a deist, adding he believes in a higher power while the other piece was written by a millennial churchgoer.

In a 2016 Q & A session by Pew Research Center writer and editor David Masci, on Why Millennials are less religious than older Americanshe asked New York University’s sociology professor Michael Hout a series of questions surrounding this matter. One of which is as follows:

“On a couple of measures of religiosity – namely belief in heaven and hell and willingness to share their faith with others – Millennials do seem more similar to older Americans. Why is this the case?

I think you see higher levels of these things among Millennials because they require very little in the way of institutional involvement. They also are harbingers of the “make your own way” or “do-it-yourself” religion that characterizes this group.

I think people assume that people who do not belong to an organized religious group reject religion altogether. But many “nones” believe in God and heaven. And spiritual experiences are still attractive for people who don’t go to church. Some people find God in the woods rather than in a church.” (2)

This supports the fact that Millennials aren’t necessarily abandoning God. So, honestly, if we are rejecting organized religion and if there is a mass exodus of millennials from the church, I believe it’s a great thing only because it presents us with an opportunity to change.

The truth remains that the church, God’s baby, is sick and has been for a while, so this gives us a chance to see that “our way” of doing things isn’t working as opposed to God’s way. I believe our approach is what’s gotten us into such deep stew. How? We keep trying to diagnosis and fix our own issues, but what about the Great Physician? What about the One who created the church? After all, He did die for the Church, shouldn’t His thoughts matter? What’s His opinion? What’s His solution? Are we, the Church, connected enough to hear and humble enough to listen?

My spiritual leader, Dr. Kaye McDonald, has been speaking heavily about unity and prayer this year. While preaching one day, she said we can’t have unity with one another, because we don’t have unity with the Spirit.

Did you catch that? How are we treating the Holy Spirit? How involved is He in our lives? The answer is evident in how we interact with others and it’s evident in the unresolved dysfunction of the Church.

Yet there is hope! God is hitting the override button, enforcing His authority, bringing forth great reformation and reverting things back to His original design. God is breaking the broken system.

Recently, I proposed that much of the acceleration the Church is experiencing is to make up for lost time because we’ve gotten so far behind in God’s plan. I’m so glad to serve One that can not only redeem time but also simultaneously put us in a better place (3). So, don’t fight the unusual as you see it occurring!



For those that believe, make the transition easy on yourself, partner with the Holy Spirit and win!
For those that don’t believe because of what you’ve witnessed and a lack of trust in these systems, on behalf of the Father, I apologize for any hurt or damage that those coming in the Name of God have caused you.
To everyone, God desires to see us all win, so let’s get it!


REFERENCES


[1] 2 Corinthians 5:20

[2] Masci, David. “Q&A: Why Millennials Are Less Religious than Older Americans.” Pew Research Center, 08 Jan. 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.

[3] Colossians 4:5


Updated on 10.30.17 to include YouTube video


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