Are you between 25 to 40? That means you are a millennial, and statistically, you might be the 59-70% who have walked away from church over the years.
I have been walking with this generation for the last 15 years as a pastor, and I’m sorry to say the church isn’t coming for you. They are focused on the post-millennials and Alpha generation now. You are in that awkward stage where the church assumed you were going to come back, but you didn’t. And they have no idea how to reach you anymore. Not many churches have a specific game plan and initiative that is geared towards getting a 33-year-old back into their church. That’s not to say they don’t love you, and I know they want you, but if you’re sitting at home waiting for them to call you 10 years after you have left, that’s most likely not going to happen.
So what does this mean? If you want the church in your life, you need to be the one who takes the step to walk through those doors again. Here are a few thoughts to help you turn back to church…
You might have a good reason why you left the church. I often find that the reason you left has less to do with God and more to do with Christians, poor leadership, or feeling they didn’t support you. Learn to separate God from other Christians. You will have bad experiences with other Christians, but that should not reflect God. Give him a shot again by finding a local church you connect with.
Truthfully, you probably need to be the one to find a church yourself because the church is not going to randomly call you 10 years after you left. And, statistically, that youth pastor who was at your church is likely not there anymore. Also, your friends you had years ago have most likely fallen into the same category as you and the other 59-70% who left as well. No offence, but you’ve probably been forgotten.
But that doesn’t mean you are not welcome. You need to take the first step. Go online and see what churches are in your area and what connects with your DNA. You might have to put yourself out there and awkwardly show up alone, but that’s okay. The ball is your court to find a church you can plug into.
You know you need a church community again to help your relationship with God get back on track, but you have made every excuse in the books on why you aren’t going to give the church a chance again. As a millennial, you are an adult now, and whatever reason you justified in your mind for not going back, you need to change your way of thinking. There’s a chance your perception or reasoning for not being in church could be wrong, and you blame the church for things you might need to take ownership of. Was it you who walked away? That might not be something we blame the church for. It’s on us… Just like going back to church is on us too.
When it comes to the conversation of church and millennials, I do believe it’s a two-way street.
Churches, you need to do something new to reengage with this generation and to get them back. But if you are a millennial, you need to take some ownership and realize you have the responsibility to take the necessary steps to walk through the doors yourself.
Youth for Christ Canada