Someone else’s opinion
A pretty insightful, brief article entitled “Why Millennials are Leaving the Church.” I’d encourage you to read this, then go to my opinion below the link.
There aren’t really any precise dates on who is included in “Generation Y,” or the Millennial Generation. Most will include those born between the early 80’s and the the early 2000’s. A good online “test” can be found here.
I fit well into this category, and so will presume to have some knowledge of what Millennials are looking for in churches.
Before I explain what I think about this, however, I’d like to give one caveat: The ultimate question of what a church should and shouldn’t do must always be answered by looking to the only ultimate source of truth we have as Christians. God’s Word is unchanging in reliability and relevance, no matter what culture says. We must always look to the structure that the New Testament gives for how to “run” a church, and must always have as our first priority to fulfill the Biblical purposes for the church: exalting Christ (Col. 1), equipping the saints (Eph. 4), and making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20).
This truth, in fact, takes us straight to what will reach millennials. Millennials don’t need hip bands, performance-driven services, or really flashy videos. They need completely honest, transparent, and unpretentious truth, on an individual basis (in community/small groups) and corporately (from the pulpit, and the “stage”). The flash and the “hipness” will succeed in getting millennials into the church, but AUTHENTICITY will KEEP them in the church.
In other words, the Biblical purposes of the church are the same as the things that will most effectively reach young adults and teenagers. Reality is contagious. Reality is appealing. Millennials have been advertised to since we were born. We’re tired of being sold things (whether we know it or not). We need real relationships, real people, real churches, and a very real Jesus.
So how do we reach millennials, in my opinion? We seek after Jesus with all of our hearts, digging deep into God’s Word, and eventually the very REAL overflow of our hearts– love, honesty, truth, and the Gospel– will draw millennials to us, and to the church.