Well, my plans to blog daily last month never took off. Life interrupted. So I will return to blogging as I have time. That is probably a relief to those of you who don’t want to see a post from me every day. 😉
I’ve read a lot of articles preporting to tell the Church why Millenials don’t attend church. A few of them have been written by Millenials and those are usually the most insightful. Many have been written by others who may not have as much insight in the issue, largely X-Gen and Boomer pastors who just think they know why Millenials don’t attend Church and want to share their wisdom with the rest of us. How do they know? Well they just do, and it mostly involves either blaming Millenials and our 21st century culture or it they blame the Church for being out of touch and old school or out of touch in the ways we try to reach Millenials.
Well, this X-Gen pastor is going to put in his two cents and tell you that the blame game is a waste of time. Yes, there are issues with our own culture that cause people to be less willing to commit to the Church. Yes, the church often does not know what to do to reach out to Millenials and when we do we often don’t do it right (whatever right is.) But all of that misses the point that actually the changes in our society and culture are no one’s fault.
No group of Millenials got together and had an organized meeting to say, “Hey, lets be anti-organized religion.” In any generation there are tendencies but I have never met a Millenial, X-Gen, Boomer, etc. that exactly fit the description that all our marketing experts tell us they fit.
We are talking about individuals and individuals have their own life, views, opinions, and interests. Making everything about generations rather than individual people misses the point. The Church is not in the world to lead generations to faith in God through Jesus Christ. The Church is about the grace that is offered to individual people no matter who they are.
Also, no one in the Church had a meeting and said, “Let’s keep all the young people out of the Church.” No, the Church is also made up of individual people who are trying serve God, albeit imperfectly. They attend church to experience God in some way. They participate in the activities of the church because the church is meaningful to them in some way. There is not some organized effort to keep young people out of God’s house and it does nothing but make people feel bad to be told constantly that “those people don’t attend church, and it is all YOUR fault” as if we had the ushers escort them out of the building.
Maybe it is time we stop putting everyone in a box and stop pretending we know what all church people are like, what all Millenials are like, what all women are like, what all men are like, what all the church is like, what all (fill in the blank) and do what we can to understand the individual people that we all hope to get to know and that the Church hopes to minister to?
Generational mythology is as old (and older) than the musical “Bye Bye Birdie (1963)” in which they sang the song, “What’s the Matter with Kids Today?” All those “kids” they sang about in that song are now the “older generation” and we are still singing the same old tune and still dividing each other up into camps so that we can misunderstand each other and then once we have misunderstood each other we can blame each other. Let’s just stop the blame game!