Youth Ministries

Has the church really 'lost' the millennials?

November 6, 2014
Youth Ministries

There is so much good and challenging information in the blogosphere. I am grateful when I have time to read through blog posts from friends and colleagues around the church.

Of late, the “loss” of the millennials in church has been a particularly popular blogging topic. Recently, I was checking-in on Matt Marino’s blog, The Gospel Side, reading his post challenging the notion of the church having “lost” the millennial generation, when this paragraph caught my attention:

Because youth pastors are generally people of spiritual passion and commitment, many students graduate from high school having had a real experience of spiritual transformation but without having ever seen the inside of the sanctuary or meeting the senior pastor. In effect, without having ever connected with the larger Church. In this model, older adults no longer have a role in the formation of the young. Parents, who have outsourced their children’s spiritual formation, often oppose a rigorous transformational faith, and the young have no interest in taking their place in the concerns and councils of the church…so students graduate from the youth group into the next thing that will cater to their preferenceslike the local Starbucks. (Read the full article.)

Much in this article might cause defensiveness among youth ministers, and I would also point out that the Episcopal Church has not made some of the more significant mistakes he is reporting in evangelical settings. That being said, I do appreciate Matt’s conclusion:

…Let’s put students into the sanctuary on Sunday morning. Reclaim rigorous discipleship, multi-generational relationships, and youth serving as full members of the church. Challenge and equip parents to spiritually lead in their homes. Re-invision youth ministry as youth who DO ministry, pursuing and extending the faith connected to the entirety of the community of faith, the church.

And to that I add a hearty Amen!

Canon Myra Garnes

Officer for Youth Ministries

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