Home Faith 10 Reasons Churches Are Not Reaching Millennials

10 Reasons Churches Are Not Reaching Millennials

by Frank Powell

Many people are pessimistic about Millennials, but I believe the next generation is poised to transform the culture (and the world) for the good. For many churches and leaders, however, Millennials are (to borrow from Winston Churchill) “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

I would agree with Churchill’s statement on some levels, but the riddle can be solved. Once you find out what makes Millennials tick, they are not that puzzling. They simply have a unique set of passions, interests, and viewpoints on the culture and the world.

But the church has largely failed to take stock in this generation because they are different. This is a problem. A lack of knowledge breeds fear, and this is true of the church in relation to Millennials. Many churches do not take the time to know the next generation, so they are stuck with attaching stigmas (many untrue) to them.

There are churches, however, that are thriving with Millennials, and if you did some investigation I believe you would find similar results, regardless of the church locale.

So, what differentiates a church culture that attracts Millennials from one that repels them? There are many factors, but I want to highlight ten really important ones. If your church wonders why reaching the next generation is difficult, the following points might shed some light on your struggle.

1.) There is a strong resistance to change.

The next generation doesn’t understand why churches refuse to change a program, activity, or even an entire culture if they aren’t effective. Millennials don’t hold traditions close to their heart. In fact, for many (myself included) traditions are often the enemy because many churches allow traditions to hinder them from moving forward.

Is this right? Maybe. Maybe not. But it is a reality nonetheless. One that must be understood.

Millennials are tired of hearing the phrase “this is how we have always done it.” That answer is no longer acceptable. Millennials want to change the world. Many times traditions hold them back from this. Change is necessary to remain focused on the vision and being externally focused, among many other things. The next generation understands this.

2.) A compelling vision is lacking or non-existent.

If creating an environment totally void of the next generation is your goal, especially those with any initiative and talent, refuse to cast vision in your church. That will drive Millennials away faster than the time I saw a rattlesnake in the woods and screamed like a girl. Don’t judge me. I hate snakes…and cats.

It baffles me when a church doesn’t value vision and planning. In no other arena of life do we refuse to vision and plan, but for some reason the church is different. [pullquote cite=”Craig Groeschel” type=”left”]If your vision doesn’t compel, move or stir people, your vision is too small.[/pullquote]

Millennials will not invest in a church that refuses to dream big because they see example after example of an infinitely powerful God doing amazing things through normal people. You might think they are naive, but most Millennials don’t believe they have to wait until they receive a certain degree or reach a certain age to start non-profits, plant churches, or lead businesses.

So, go ahead and believe “the Spirit is supposed to guide us, not a man-made vision” or just allow sheer laziness to lead the way, but your church will continue to be void of the next generation.

3.) Mediocrity is the expectation.

Quite simply…the next generation is not content with mediocrity. They believe they can (and will) change the world. Good or bad, they have a strong desire for the extraordinary. Failure is not going to drive the train. This also seems like a foreign concept to many in previous generations, but Millennials aren’t scared to fail. And they believe churches should operate with a similar mindset.

Failing and being a failure are mutually exclusive. They dream often and dream big because they understand they serve a God who works beyond their abilities.

Millennials have a collective concern for making the world a better place, and mediocrity fits nowhere in those plans.

4.) There is a paternalistic approach to leading Millennials.

[tweet_box design=”default”]If you want to push the next generation from your church, refuse to release them to lead.[/tweet_box]

This is one I have experienced personally. If you want to push the next generation away from your church, don’t release them to lead. Simply giving them a title means nothing. Titles are largely irrelevant to the next generation. They want to be trusted to fulfill the task given to them. If you micro-manage them, treat them like a child, or refuse to believe they are capable of being leaders because of their age and lack of experience, wisdom, etc., they will be at your church for a short season.

Millennials will not allow age to keep them from leading…and leading well. If you refuse to release them to lead, the next generation will quickly find another church or context where they can use their talents and gifts to their full capacity.

5.) There is a pervasive insider-focused mentality.

Traditional or contemporary worship? High church or low church? A plurality of elders, board of directors, or staff-led church? While past generations invested a lot of time in these discussions, most Millennials see these conversations as sideways energy. There might be a time and place for talking about acapella versus instrumental or high church versus low church, but the time is very rarely and the place is not from a pulpit or in a small group.

[tweet_box design=”default”]Millennials won’t attend churches that answer questions nobody is asking.[/tweet_box]

[pullquote cite=”Gabe Lyons” type=”left”]When the faithful saturate their schedules with Christian events at Christian venues with Christian people, the world has a hard time believing we hold the rest of the world in high esteem.[/pullquote]What is important to Millennials? How a church responds to the lost in the world, both locally and globally. How a church responds to the poor, homeless, needy, and widowed. If you want to ensure your church has very few Millennials, answer the questions nobody is asking, spend most of your resources on your building, and have programs that do little to impact anybody outside the church walls.

The next generation is pessimistic towards institutions…the church included. Millennials are not going to give their time and resources to a church that spends massive amounts of money on inefficient and ineffective programs.

Church leaders can get mad or frustrated about this, or they can consider changing things. Churches who value reaching the next generation emphasize the latter.

6.)  Transparency and authenticity are not high values.

Despite what I often hear, most Millennials value transparency and authenticity. If your church portrays a “holier than thou” mentality and most of the sermons leave everyone feeling like terrible people, your church will be largely devoid of the next generation.

Why? Because the next generation knows something the church has largely denied for a long time…church leaders are not in their position because they are absent of sin, temptations, or failures. Millennials have seen too many scandals in the church (i.e. Catholic church scandal) and witnessed too many instances of moral failures among prominent Christian leaders.

Millennials are not looking for perfect people…Jesus already handled that. Millennials are looking for people to be real and honest about struggles and temptations.

7.)  Mentoring is not important.

This is a common misconception about Millennials. While they do not like paternalistic leadership, they place a high value on learning from past generations. I have a good friend who lives in Jackson, TN and he occasionally drives to Nashville (two hours away) to sit at the feet of a man who has mentored him for years. He does this because his mentor has knowledge my good friend highly values.

He is not an exception. I have driven as far as Dallas to spend a weekend with a family I love and respect. I had no other reason for going than to watch how they parent and let this man give me nuggets of wisdom on following Jesus and loving others. Many might think this is ridiculous, but this is what makes Millennials unique.

They value wisdom and insight. It is a valuable treasure, and they will travel long distances to acquire it.

Millennials aren’t standoffish towards those who have gone before us. They place a high value on learning. But they want to learn from sages, not dads. If your church is generationally divided and refuses to pour into the next generation, you can be sure your church will not attract Millennials.

8.) Culture is viewed as the enemy.

Millennials are tired of the church viewing the culture as the enemy. Separationist churches that create “safe places” for their members, moving away from all the evil in the city, are unlikely to attract the next generation. The next generation is trying to find ways to engage the culture for the glory of God. [pullquote cite=”Gabe Lyons” type=”right”]The next Christians believe that Christ’s death and Resurrection were not only meant to save people FROM something. He wanted to save Christians TO something.[/pullquote]

Millennials are increasingly optimistic about the surrounding culture because this is the model of Jesus. He loves all types of people, does ministry in the city, and engages the culture. They also know the church does not stand at the cultural center anymore.

In past generations, preachers could stand in pulpits and lecture about the evils of the culture because the church shaped the culture. Today, this is not true.

The goal of Christian living isn’t to escape the evils of the culture and finish life unharmed. To reach people today, the church must be immersed in the community for the glory of God.

[tweet_box design=”default”]To reach people today, the church must be immersed in the community.[/tweet_box]

9.) Community is not valued.

This might be the greatest value of Millennials. Community is a non-negotiable part of their lives. And they aren’t looking for another group of people to watch the Cowboys play football on Sunday…the next generation desires a Christ-centered community. They value a community that moves beyond the surface and asks the hard questions.

Community keeps Millennials grounded and focused. Community challenges them to reach heights never imagined alone. Jesus lived in community with twelve men for most of His earthly ministry. Jesus spent a lot of His time pouring into people. Community isn’t an optional part of a Millennial’s life…it is essential.

Personally, I have seen the value of community on so many levels. Without authentic Christian community, I wouldn’t be in full-time ministry today. I wouldn’t have overcome serious sins and struggles. I wouldn’t have been challenged to live fully for God.

In a culture becoming increasingly independent and disconnected, Millennials model something important for the church. There is power in numbers. As an African proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go ALONE. If you want to go far, go TOGETHER.”

Millennials want to go far and want their life to have meaning. In their minds this is not possible without deep, authentic, Christ-centered community. I agree.

10.) The church is a source of division and not unity.

Nothing frustrates Millennials more than a church that doesn’t value unity. Jesus’s final recorded prayer on earth in John 17 has been preached  for years. What many churches miss is one of the central themes in that prayer…unity.

On four separate occasions, Jesus explicitly prays for unity. It was important to him. He brought together tax collectors and Zealots (just do some research if you want to know how difficult it would have been to bring these groups together). He brought people together. This is why places like coffee shops are grounds (like my pun?) for a lot of Millennials. They want to be in environments where everyone feels welcomed and accepted.

Churches that value racial, generational, and socio-economic unity will attract Millennials. Why? The gospel is most fully reflected when all of these groups are brought together, and most of them are just crazy enough to believe the power of the Spirit is sufficient to make it happen.

___________________________

Some churches and leaders don’t see the value of changing to reach this generation, but once they realize this mentality is wrong it will be too late. The Millennials are a huge part of the population today (about 80 million strong), and if your church is serious about the Great Commission, your church also needs to be serious about understanding this generation.

Are there other qualities or values you think are important to Millennials? Leave a comment below! Let’s continue the conversation.

I love you all! To God be the glory forever. Amen!

NOTE: This post was originally published June 25, 2014. It was my first viral article, and on the one-year anniversary of it’s original publish date, I have re-published it after making a few changes to enhance the content’s quality and relevance.

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111 comments

Jeff Wright June 30, 2014 - 12:46 pm

Have you seen this article on how Capitol Hill Baptist in D.C. is reaching Millennials?

http://ib2news.org/2014/06/19/youll-never-believe-whats-drawing-millenials-to-church/

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Frank Powell July 2, 2014 - 1:51 pm

Jeff, thanks for the article. I think it speaks to what I was saying. Millennials are not flocking to emotional, entertainment driven churches. Some are, but many are not. A lot of churches are misguided in thinking that Millennials only go to churches with lights and smoke and topical sermons. This is not a strong value of the next generation. I have spent most of my life in a very high church setting. It is very sacramental. We take communion every Sunday and sing A-cappella. I have many Millennial friends that are in the same boat. What draws Millennials is the passion of the church towards the city and the level to which the church values transformation and reaching the lost. Thanks for showing me this article!!

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Ben Aidoo October 27, 2014 - 1:59 pm

I am perplexed by the amount of criticism against your article. The salient point in the article is that there are 80 million millennials, and they are walking away from God and the church. This ought be an eye-opener for church leaders and apologists to think outside the box for creative ideas to bring the millennials back to the church. To castigate and lampoon them as obstinate and ungrateful brats can only drive them further away from the church. If the critics think the millenials are incorrigible, in so far as the word of God is concerned, wait till the next generation come of age.

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melissaseng June 30, 2014 - 5:04 pm

YES. I’m a millennial working in ministry, and you have outlined many of the concerns and frustrations I would like my church to understand. I wrote a post about being a millennial on my blog last month, geared towards millennials trying to figure things out: http://oneimperfectmess.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/i-am-a-millennial/
If the older generations in the church could work toward understanding where this generation is coming from, we would be able to change the world together instead of completing over secondary issues (but there I go revealing by bias against “the way we’ve always done it.”)

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Frank Powell July 2, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Melissa, thanks for your comment and thanks for reading. I believe the Millennials have much to learn from the Boomers and other generations, and vice-versa. For the church to be unified, we must understand and respect one another. This is at the heart of everything I wrote in this post. Some have used it as a way to sound off against the next generation, but my ultimate desire is not to see the church cater to the next generation, but for everyone to come together so the world can see the power of the Gospel. The frustrations many Millennials experience are real, and I pray that we will seek to understand one another better. God bless you!

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Kenny Lange July 2, 2014 - 11:44 am

This entire post is spot on from start to finish! This is a wonderful articulation of frustrations that I’ve felt and seen as a church member and worker. I would love to link to this post in one of my future blog posts!

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Frank Powell July 2, 2014 - 1:41 pm

Kenny, thanks for your comment! You are welcome to link to this post anytime in the future. I have been so encouraged by the overwhelming support I have received from so many people. God bless you!

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Ursus Pacificus » Blog Archive » Indirect Evidence and Miracles July 5, 2014 - 6:08 am

[…] saw this blog post, and read it out of morbid curiosity. It missed a few points, so I commented with the […]

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Frank Powell July 7, 2014 - 10:44 am

I really appreciate you taking the time to read the article. While I know we are at different points in the journey, I am sure there is much I could learn from you and you could learn from me. I have an engineering background, so I understand the concrete, evidential argument associated with God. There are times I have really struggled with it. Some things about God are hard to verbalize and make tangible. I get that. But I think you would also agree that faith is a major player for Christians, atheists, agnostics, etc. It takes some degree of faith to arrive at any conclusion about the nature and existence of God. If you have any direct questions for me, I would love to answer them. It’s always good to have dialogue with people that think differently. I know I enjoy it. Thanks again for reading.

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Jim Gammon July 7, 2014 - 8:15 pm

Excellent thoughts for growing any denomination, especially Pentecostal! ! !

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Frank Powell August 4, 2014 - 7:00 am

Thanks Jim!

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More Millennial Posts | joncoombs.com July 7, 2014 - 10:26 pm

[…] Ten reasons churches aren’t reaching Millennials by Frank Matthew Powell is written for churches and pastors who are seeking to engage this generation. Unlike other posts which outline what’s wrong with the generation this outlines what’s wrong with the churches who aren’t respecting Millennials. […]

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Frank Powell July 8, 2014 - 2:29 pm

Jon, thank you so much for sharing this post, and thank you for the kind words. God bless you and your ministry!

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Blogs / Random Sources for Philo/Theo. Stuff | Pearltrees July 10, 2014 - 10:31 am

[…] Ten Reasons Churches Are Not Reaching Millennials – Frank Powell. I am very passionate about the Millennial generation. […]

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Joseph Stowell; Bonhoeffer; Tim Kell and Suffering; Millennials and how to Reach them; God and Gayness; Pornography Danger and much more « ChosenRebel's Blog July 13, 2014 - 8:28 pm

[…] on Suffering is a Book You Ought to Read  (Review of Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering) 10 Reasons Some Churches are Not Reaching Millennials (Frank Powell—some good counsel and insightful observations.) God and the Gay Christian: A […]

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Lazy Atheists; John Stewart’s Prejudice; Tim Keller on Suffering; Government Homosexuality Numbers; Smart Phones Making us Dumb and more « ChosenRebel's Blog July 19, 2014 - 4:08 pm

[…] on Suffering is a Book You Ought to Read  (Review of Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering) 10 Reasons Some Churches are Not Reaching Millennials (Frank Powell—some good counsel and insightful observations.) God and the Gay Christian: A […]

Reply
Veritas Magnum July 19, 2014 - 7:27 pm

I loved your article. It was very provocative. Here is my counter list (admittedly overstated at times).

1. There is a strong need for artificial connections. Their lives have been void of familial and spiritual traditions so they love the warm mystical feeling they get from reading ancient prayers in unison but don’t every expect them to pray in public without a script (unless you want to hear the word “just” a dozen times).

2. They love long term vision like, planning to meet up at Starbucks next week or something, unless they “have too much to do” (which they don’t).

3. They are addicted to mediocrity. For their wedding they want a string quartet to play “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, “Cosmic Love” by Florence & The Machine, “Outro” by M834. This actually happened to me. Never ask them about Woody Shaw or Clifford Brown they have no clue even if they have a hipster beard.

4. You want them to take charge of something but they either want to change everything or do nothing.

5. They love churches that have outreach programs. Especially if it involves a one sided “conversation” where they can share their feelings over coffee.

6. Transparency is very important. Especially when you share your ideas or opinions with a millennial. You get the feeling they wish you were transparent and would completely disappear.

7. They love grandpa but think they have to constantly correct Dad. They never ask you how you are doing, but if you don’t talk to them they brood on the inside.

8. Culture is more important than scripture. There are no moral absolutes only love and acceptance. The Bible is just wrong on issues of sexuality. The idea of hell is too cruel to be true.

9. Millennials value their friends who are all white and middle class like them. They want to be diverse, but watch them at a party. They are not Mexican or urban black or Asian. They really just hang out with people who “get them”. Unless of course they are “helping” those poor inner city kids.

10. They never make a strong commitment. They even speak “uncommitted”, using phrases like, “it is what it is” and “I guess it depends”. They are most comfortable living in the middle ground. You will never see a millennial at a “pro-life” or “Support Israel” rally. Not that they don’t support causes, they just have tickets to the Nickelback concert. Even healthy criticism is seen as a personal attack because all of their life they have been taught the highest moral value is accepting everyone and everything.

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Parrish July 28, 2014 - 7:44 am

You have been observing the White Christian Crowd for to long, which is a crowd the church has been reaching. The people that are not being reached are not at all the people you describe.
The people you seem to be looking for look a lot like my friends and associates. But the church has rejected us for many things, being gay, transgender, questioning tenets of the church, etc. My friends are often at rallies and protests, just maybe not the ones you want to see us at. We counter protest Westboro Baptist Church for spreading hate. We support Gaza. We are at Occupy Wallstreet. We work for inter-sectional conversations across gender, race, class, religion, which is something many churches segregate. How many single sex Bible study classes have you heard of being offered?
You have lost a generation of people who want to be a part of the church, yet are being pushed out for not looking like Christians of days gone by.
And this critique comes off as bitter that you do not understand the current generation. Especially with your comment on musical tastes. While each millennial has different musical tastes, I don’t think many of them would insult you for yours.

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Veritas Magnum September 1, 2014 - 7:17 pm

Just look at how judgmental your reply is. You have just proven most of my points, except now I need to add one more: They have no real sense of humor!

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Frank Powell August 4, 2014 - 7:00 am

Some of your points are valid, however, the goal of my post is to highlight the positive aspects of this generation. Blessings!

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guest October 24, 2014 - 10:46 am

while highlighting the negative aspect of current church and the previous generation?

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Pastor Chris July 23, 2014 - 4:13 pm

Thanks, Frank. I am a new, first-time lead pastor in a small church in CA. This post has given me some insights on reaching the community.

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Frank Powell August 4, 2014 - 6:58 am

Chris, I pray God gives you strength as you begin Your work for Him!

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Tara G July 24, 2014 - 10:28 am

Inreresting read. I would add a point about churches that only preach a list of right and wrong/ black and white concepts. Many millenials have a natural skepticism about black & white issues but want to hear someone grapple with the grey areas too; they want to hear and think about all sides & angles so they can make a firm right decision for themselves. Not the decison someone told them is right. Great post!

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Frank Powell August 4, 2014 - 6:57 am

Grey areas are another huge area of discussion when it comes to Millennials. Many of them are trying to find out how to live in the grey areas. Churches must address the grey! Great comment!

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Nathana Clay July 24, 2014 - 12:55 pm

This is something that we have witnessed a lot since moving to Phoenix to do youth ministry. It is a challenge and an opportunity. I believe our church is taking steps toward it, but still has a long way to go! Thanks for sharing. I am enjoying your blog!

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Frank Powell August 4, 2014 - 6:55 am

Nathana, pray a God gives you clarity and direction as you work throughout these things.

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Guest July 28, 2014 - 12:46 pm

I disagree with most of the article. The practices recommended by Frank Powell are great ideas on how to fill a building with a bunch of false converts, but bear no resemblance to Biblical instructions for making disciples. I copied and pasted other peoples comments that disagree with Frank Powell’s logic. Bible teachers should study more if they believe Frank Powell’s article makes biblical sense.

Ignore all foolishness believing… that we cannot reach the lost until we “understand them” or “contextualize”. This makes evangelism seem hopeless, denies that it is the work of God to change hearts, (John 6:65), and makes a false excuse for why we are OK not doing it.

If I am to take the Gospel to all tongues, tribes and nations without distinction, how long will it take me to “understand” ALL people “in their context” enough to be “effective”? Paul was never a woman. How could he understand them? Peter was never a rich man, but he preached repentance to them on the temple mount. I find myself, in myself, completely helpless to understand those I spend the most time with! What a hope-sapping, powerless-God view of the Church!

It is incredibly hopeful that the power of God transcends my feeble ability without the need to worry myself needlessly with finding clever ways to make the Gospel somehow palatable on my own. Seeing as all men are naturally “dead” to the things of God (1 Cor. 2:14), my marketing plan is so useless, I might as well be finding ways to sell soup in the cemetery.

Paul reached more people than I ever will, and he kept it simple. He said, “…I resolved to know NOTHING except Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2).

As for the complaint that the church is full of hypocrites? True. There are some; just like there are overweight people at the gym. It isn’t an excuse for me to be overweight myself or worse, be haughty and assert it as an excuse to loathe Christ’s very Bride.

As a matter of fact, sinful, unholy lives call for MORE Biblical preaching, not less. The evidence that I understand His grace will inevitably and undeniably shine in the way I live as I grow in my knowledge of the Holy One. If holiness is not present in growing measure in my life, it is the clearest evidence that I have not fully or rightly understood the Grace that is in Christ Jesus. More teaching will solve this. Not more bowling outings for “community”.

Conversion doesn’t depend on the preacher OR the program. Discipleship is simply trusting in Christ; a trust that will be demonstrated by genuine lives of obedience. No obedience = No Christ (Matt. 7:21-29).

The power is in the Word, accurately explained without deviation. All the rest is marketing “smoke”, and does more to obscure the simplicity of the Gospel than anything else. Satan loves this trick. He disguises himself as an angel of light to deceive us and get us to focus on anything but the Gospel. In so doing, he might destroy the impact of even those who love Christ by convincing them to be focusing on marketing lists instead of the Gospel.

The only thing we need to know and preach to expand the Kingdom is love God with all of our hearts, love our neighbors as ourselves, and that all men are hopelessly doomed to an eternity separated from all things good unless they deny themselves today and pledge absolute, total allegiance to the King who bought those who would humble themselves at the price of His own blood. If they pick us (and Jesus warns that they will), we should bleed this truth.

Fallacy #1: The Gospel is something to be marketed. TRUTH: It is to be received and responded to by sinful people.

Fallacy #2: The Millennials (of which I am one) are different than any generation. TRUTH: There is nothing new under the sun. They aren’t any more selfish than previous generations.

Fallacy #3: Give the people what they want. TRUTH: God says, “Preach the Word.” Period. It is God who saves souls. Period.

Fallacy #4: The new is somehow better than the old. TRUTH: you can’t get any older than “In the beginning was the Word.” There is nothing better.

Fallacy #5: If it is dividing people from the World, it isn’t Christianity. TRUTH: Jesus says he came to divide houses against themselves. Jesus said that real Christians would be persecuted. James says that friendship with the world is being an en enemy of God. The real Gospel is ALWAYS divisive because the World hates Jesus.

1) Millennials are quickly learning that perpetual change is becoming a tradition to be abandoned, and that the distance between “this generation” and the previous is not very far. For instance, Millennials say they’re misunderstood, but they equally misunderstand their parents’ generation if they think they always did things because “this is how we have always done it.” That’s as shallow a concern for the previous generatoin as they claim the previous generation has for them.

2) Bible teachers must be trained before released, and then supervised afterward. We are all under authority always.

3) God established fathers as mentors to the next generation. Like Rehoboam son of Solomon, a generation that rejects its fathers while seeking “mentors” is seeking mere re-affirmation, not wisdom and correction. A generation that rejects fathers for “mentors” also undercuts its own soon-to-be-fatherly voice to the next generation after them.

4) If past Christians tended to flee, present Christians tend to become indistinguishable from the culture. The church should neither flee nor imitate, much less celebrate, the culture. Jesus came down to earth and dwelt among us, but he remained totally unstained and otherworldly. Jesus ate with sinners, but he called them out on their sin. Boldly, explicitly, and consistently.

5) If unity is what most shows the gospel, then the World Cup is preaching gospel-salvation hardcore. If unity is ultimate, Christians must unify with all faiths (even atheists) because today any degree of separation is narrow, bigoted, hateful, & extremist. Instead, the bible teaches that unity is important but not ultimate. There was already healthy division in the New Testament church because of false teachers and unrepentant professing “Christians”. Jude was going to write about their common faith, but instead chose to urge Christians to contend earnestly for the one true faith handed down once for all. Finally, the gospel of Jesus Christ is what unifies, not unity itself.

6) Before Jesus, every man will be accountable for his own soul. If he rejects Christ, His Bride, and God’s merciful grace, saying “But the pastors and elders were sinners, too,” will not cut it.

7) Your pastors and elders will be accountable before God for their souls…and yours, too. Instead of criticizing them, pray for them and ask him how you can lighten their load. They’re carrying your soul, too.

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Frank Powell August 4, 2014 - 6:55 am

We will have to agree to disagree. Pray blessings on your life!

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Guest August 4, 2014 - 7:33 pm

We simply disagree. I mean no disrespect to you, but we interpret the bible very differently. To throw you a bone every now and then I agree with some of what your articles say. In point # 10 you talked about unity. The bible’s ultimate message isn’t about unity. The church at Corinth was commanded to separate from unbelievers and false teachers (Corinthians 6:14-7:1). Lot separated from Sodom and Gomorrah. Noah separated from the majority of people by building the ark to avoid being destroyed. Jesus didn’t run after those that chose to depart from him. John 6:66-68 says 66As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”

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77Pirate August 20, 2014 - 8:44 am

Agreeing to disagree is the classic liberal cop-out. Or, to put it another way, you’ve left the kitchen. This current generation, the “millennials”, are among the most selfish in the history of the world. They want things their way more than any generation before, and Jesus spoke very directly against having things your way. Your blog post makes me grieve even more for this generation.

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MoreGreyHairEveryDay September 12, 2014 - 8:29 am

Pretty harsh words… I am far from being a millennial but sympathize greatly with the aim of this article. In fact I have children that are millennials and he is on track particularly for millennials who desire to follow Christ with their all. My main disagreement is simply that every single point he makes applies to far more people than millenials.

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Laurine January 4, 2015 - 10:22 am

Perhaps the point is that some church’s need a revival, and it’s not selfishness but a desire to move the church forward. Perhaps the selfishness is on the behalf of those who are valuing tradition over the biblical truth of the new testament church. Please don’t judge us when we are all sinners, you are all no better.

I have a desire to change the church, not for myself but because it is dying. Where I live there is no fire for spreading the gospel and no excitement for what Jesus has done for us. I suggest you think about the idea that we might want the church to change for not only ourselves but for the future generations too.

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Icepick August 5, 2014 - 12:43 am

Outstanding reply. The opening of your statement covers most of it. This article is a good guide for how to run a “Church of the Tares.”

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Sarah August 5, 2014 - 10:08 am

You completely captured my thoughts! Especially Fallacy #2! That’s what I kept thinking over and over when reading the “Millennials are unique” mantra. I’m a “Millennial,” and I seriously think that the statement is a load of rubbish.

It especially got my blood boiling when I read that pastors shouldn’t be preaching about how we do worship and organize the church.

If pastors are to preach the word, then they will preach from passages like Deuteronomy 12. You can’t help but speak of issues on HOW WE WORSHIP GOD since He is very particular in how he wants to be worshipped. If a millennial thinks that these issues are “sideways energy,” then the millennial does not understand the holiness of God. As a 22-year-old, that is the #1 issue that attracted me to our current church. God hated the worship on the high places (though he tolerated it to some extent). Breaking the 2nd commandment eventually leads to breaking the 1st commandment, which is exactly what we see in the apostate churches today. We ought to take this *extremely* seriously. It ties right in to the gospel and the need for it.

The same with the elders vs directors issue. God has explicit commands in scripture on how he wants to arrange His church. If a pastor is faithfully expositing scripture, he will run into preaching on these topics.

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Guest August 5, 2014 - 10:59 am

I agree with you Sarah. Human nature doesn’t change and millennials aren’t different than other generations. You brought up a good point that God left instructions for pastors and elders on how they are to direct the church.

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Sarah August 5, 2014 - 11:07 am

Thanks. I think the overarching problem with the article is that the author asks: “What is important to Millennials?” not “What is important to God?”

Who do we worship? God? Or Millennials? Let us beware of idolatry.

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Guest August 5, 2014 - 11:28 am

Exactly. And I think the author shouldn’t target “millenials in his articles. The gospel was made for sinners.

Dr. Nalley September 2, 2014 - 8:46 pm

So what then does Paul mean by:
I become all things to all people?

Or what does it mean to be created in the image of a Creator?

If the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom to where else does that wisdom go?

Why does God through out history care so much about the culture of the Hebrews?

How is it that we can have obtained truth without love?

Questions for thought?

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Guest September 7, 2014 - 2:39 pm

This link may answer some of your questions Dr.Nalley. You many disagree with it. http://www.letusreason.org/Biblexp78.htm

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Jeron McGough September 7, 2014 - 2:40 pm

may*

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Ray October 23, 2014 - 9:08 pm

I really don’t think you are a millennial. You might fit in the age group but you certainly have a different perspective than most millennials.

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Aggies October 23, 2014 - 10:18 pm

I’m the guest you replied to. Human nature doesn’t change. Millennials aren’t unique from previous generations. I take that as a compliment if you think I have a different perspective than most millenialls. God was always saving the remnant in the bible.

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Caleb October 27, 2014 - 9:00 am

This response accuses the article of some things it didn’t even say, and it twists some of the positive recommendations into something negative (ie. interpreting the author’s point against isolationism as being for compromise and worldliness). It refuses to glean any insight from the article and it misinterprets it, adding meanings and assumptions that the article does not imply, then arguing against those things (which were never in the article in the first place). And for the record, I’m a 28 yr old who is proud to be part of an extremely conservative denomination.

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Aggies October 27, 2014 - 11:09 am

I’m the guest you responded to. I simply changed my username to Aggies about a week ago. In response I would say much can be learned from the book of Judges regarding Millenialll’s. Judges states at the beginning: “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors,another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel”. It go’s on to say they worshipped other gods of various people’s around them. This caused God to use other countries to punish Israel.
What can we learn from this to reach millenialls? Perhaps parents failed to teach this generation in the book of Judges about God. This young generation may have believed in God,but they also followed other gods it says. God disciplined Israel by punishing them using other countries. Perhaps part of the reason millennial’s aren’t being reached is because the parents failed to teach them about God. Parents can teach milleniall’s by disciplining them. Also,parents have a responsibility to seek out a church where their children can have other Christian influences and be taught. Churches also have a responsibility to teach it’s young children and adults.
The book of Judges concludes that in those days Israel had no king; everyone did as saw fit. Milleniall’s have a King named Jesus. Some millennial’s are choosing to disobey God because they are doing what they see fit just like the lost generation in Judges. And I’m also a 28 year old millennial and there is no condescension in my response to you.

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Laurine January 4, 2015 - 10:15 am

This little harsh. I’m a millennial too, and I don’t think what’s being said here is to let us have what we want, nor does it say we don’t have our own faults. The points made are good ones, for where I’m from at least, for churches who focus so much on the “this is how it’s always been” tradition rather than biblical truth and proper worship. Despite what you say about our generation being selfish, I think you’ll find that there are a lot of us who have a desire to reach out to the community. Segregation from society will not make disciples of nations, and despite this article not approaching the full idea of striking a balance between adapting to culture and remaining biblically faithful, I believe it has a point, even if it isn’t fully developed.

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Aggies January 17, 2015 - 11:04 am

I’m the guest you replied to. I simply changed my username to Aggies several months ago. I admit that I’m critical of the article. I’m a millennial also. I agree with you that Christians need to be biblically faithful. The author of the post mentioned unity,but I believe he took out of context. Jesus wanted unity,but not at the expense of the truth. In John it states some of Jesus disciples chose to leave him and Jesus didn’t run after them to compromise to gain their approval. John 6:66-67 states: As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”

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aaron July 29, 2014 - 2:31 pm

Frank I stumbled upon this blog and you have addressed a lot of what I have struggled with in my church. I am 21 and am aspiring to become a physical therapist and have sold out my life for God awhile back. It’s always been frustrating to me when I go to pastors and they automatically assume I need correction and guidance. I am a firm believer in the holistic approach and hope to go far enough to explain the gospel to those who are intelligent and do not know how to relate to it.
Thanks for the read have a great day

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Frank Powell August 4, 2014 - 6:53 am

Aaron, praying God’s blessings on your life. I think holistic living is something Needed in our culture. Stay true to your calling. God is going to use your passion in a mighty way!

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Sarah July 30, 2014 - 3:58 pm

Great article! I agree with every point that was made. The Lord said when the time comes, His Word will be spread rapidly. The old generational people (some of them) that are stuck in their ways will continue to give out pamphlets and tracks…which does not work. The millennials will use various methods, such as technology, meeting spots, etc.
God will send his vengeance upon the churches and people who run out the youth, who don’t let them have any say, who keeps a narrow mindset about church. Watch and see! He will deal with them all. It’s a shame though, it’s a shame.
Thank God that when He is ready, He will use the millennials to spread His Word because some of these backward thinkers are just doing nothing.
Thank You Lord for being awesome!
Again, completely accurate article. You must have stopped by my church when you wrote this. Lol. Sad this is going on in some many churches though.
Some of these church people need to wake up and allow the millennials to work or God will oust them out!!

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Frank Powell August 4, 2014 - 6:52 am

Sarah thanks. I believe God is going to use this generation in a mighty way to fulfill His purposes. I am confident in it because I am confident in God. He is awesome! Blessings!

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Jimothy Timberline August 3, 2014 - 8:22 pm

I have been working with millennials everyday for seven years.

I see many leave the faith, or stray, or backslide. My perception is very simple; sin, self centeredness, the love of the world, and parents who have abdicated godly responsibility, cause them to leave the church. Why is everybody always seemingly trying to blame the Church, the body, the bride of Christ?

Millennials are bombarded with how great they are, how precious they are, how much God loves them at the expense of how much God hates wickedness and sin. Does God love them, of course, but he hates what is unholy, he hates what is wicked, he hates what is sensual and worldly, millennials seldom hear that at youth group or at home.

They are inundated with media, Hollywood, compromise, the lusts of the eyes, they drink in sin daily like it is water from all facets of our culture. In order to save their precious self esteem they are seldom told the hard truths, seldom held accountable, seldom rebuked in their youth groups. They are led by other millennials (youth pastors, worship leaders)who can be more focused on being hip, cool, likable, and accepted, than by mature leaders who guide, counsel, rebuke, and point to Gods truths.

I see a deep irreverence for holiness and righteousness in a generation that is inundated with slogan Christianity and hip names for their youth groups, like; Thrive, Relevant, Unite, Radical, Merge, etc, etc,. They see very little difference between their Youth group and the world, youth group just throws a little Jesus at them, like one Pastor states, “Like Six Flags over Jesus”. They see the world is far more attractive.

I see parents who have abandoned their God demanded role of raising their kids in the way of The Lord. I see parents who think that sending their kids to Youth Group to be trained by youth pastors with one or two years of Bible school, who have good intentions, but very little life experience or wisdom, fulfills their parental duty. I see parents who fail in godly leadership with their kids running the household in terms of clothing, social media, movies, friends, television, sports domination, and friends over family. I see little girls running around dressed so wicked and vile in its sensuality that any father who allows his precious daughter to dress in such a way is causing her great spiritual harm. Parents will stand before God and have to give and account for how they sheparded their children who God has entrusted them, not a youth leader.

So back to my original point we are to look to the millennials themselves, we can put the harsh reality of their sin back on them, point them to holiness and right living that pleases The Lord. We are to raise children in a Godly home, with Godly parental care, with Godly truth, no matter how it makes a millenial “feel”, we are to instill not only the love of God but the great righteous “fear” of The Lord for those who love wickedness.

We can’t let millennials off the hook and blame the Church, we need to show them how they are responsible to God, they will stand before him and give an account. The Church will not stand before God on judgment day and be held accountable for not reaching millennials, millennials will stand before God on judgment day and have to give an account for THEMSELVES.

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Frank Powell August 4, 2014 - 6:50 am

Jimothy, it is hard for me to believe you work with Millennials and have this type of attitude towards them. I believe your comment typifies the problem. There certainly are issues with this generation, but if we have a condescending attitude towards them we are doing ourselves no good. Why not focus on what this generation does well? This extreme pessimism is one reason the church is struggling so much. Thanks for commenting. Blessings!

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Jimothy Timberline August 4, 2014 - 7:31 pm

Frank it’s not an attitude its an observation.

I live it everyday. If you notice I was more critical of the parents than the millennials.

I would say in return that your attitude typifies the problem: excuses, babying, and coddling. I believe the very problem is we don’t hold them accountable all we do is focus on what they do well. There is no condescension in my remark, rebuking is not condescension. Truth is not condescension. Taking offense at the difficult things and truths marks immaturity, how can a millenial grow if all they are told is how wonderful they are? The fact that you have to address in a article how we are losing millenials proves my point.

I am 50 years old and some of my most trusted and beloved friends are under 25, seven years worth. I live, work, and play with them. They respect and love me because I tell the the truth with love.

The person who loves you the most tells you the most truth in spite of a bruised ego.

Proverbs 29:15
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Revelation 3:19
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

I have been around a long time brother.

Peace,

Jim

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Guest August 4, 2014 - 7:58 pm

I agree with you Jimothy. The author sometimes doesn’t make much biblical sense. He doesn’t use bible scriptures often in his articles. And when he does he is sometimes taking the bible out of context.

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James N October 24, 2014 - 10:04 pm

Jimothy, bluntly, I’d like to point out that your comment somewhat presupposes that “millenials” are more sinful, lustful, distracted, self centered, and loving of the world than your generation was and IS.

The fact is, saying They are inundated with media, Hollywood, compromise, the lusts of the eyes, they drink in sin daily like it is water from all facets of our culture. In order to save their precious self esteem they are seldom told the hard truths, seldom held accountable, seldom rebuked in their youth groups. They are led by other millennials (youth pastors, worship leaders)who can be more focused on being hip, cool, likable, and accepted, than by mature leaders who guide, counsel, rebuke, and point to Gods truths”

Is a cop out from your generation to cease to be relevant to this one.
And please remember that the “slogan Christianity” that our culture is filled with, came from the generation before the millenials (examples available upon request).

I am saying this bluntly, but believe me I have deep respect for the work I’m sure you do for Christ and for your walk with Him. Blessings

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Guest August 4, 2014 - 7:49 pm

I find your remark funny and hypocritical that you think Jimothy has a condescending attitude towards millennials because you seem to have a condescending attitude towards the church based on the content and title of several of your articles. The title of your article is Ten Reasons The Churches Are Not Reaching Millennials.

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Ruth August 5, 2014 - 12:29 am

Your article is beautiful (You’re a great writer by the
way), but why does it matter if we come back to church or not? I am 25 years
old, love Jesus Christ with all my heart and I am completely done with church.
I’m never going back. It doesn’t matter how many opportunities I’m given or even if my ideas are listened to respectfully.

I’m not offended with church. I’m over
church. I have the bible, I have the Holy Spirit and I listen to both of them
very carefully. I really don’t get why it is so important we get lured back
into big buildings with steeples. If we’re loving Jesus and serving humanity
what does it matter what we do with our Sunday mornings?

The church as we know it needs to take its
last curtain call with a touch of grace and dignity. It’s like the aged
professor who was great in his day but who’s hit retirement.

The church wants us back so it can keep
harping on about the great commission and how to clean a sickle. But since the fields
are already white to harvest we’ve fallen away into the byways to bring it in
by the bundle.

If you give a man a horse and go on and on
about the delights of riding, don’t you think he’s eventually going to want to
try it? And once he feels the power of that animal pounding beneath him, do you
think he’s ever going to want to return to the stable?

I don’t have a fight with the church. Most of the people who go (contra
to popular opinion) are not hypocrites. They’re nice people, but they’re nice
people in an outdated wineskin.

I don’t want to offend anyone with these opinions
and if I’ve been hurtful then I’m truly sorry. I just don’t understand why
going to church is so important. Buildings crumple, wood rots, tiles slip and
stained glass shatters. Only Jesus and his truth remains. I know I’m wanted
back in the pews but regardless of the bribe I’m offered, I have to say “Thanks
a bunch for the thought, but I’ve got my bible and I’ve got my Lord and I just
don’t have time for church. I’m off to change the world!”

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Frank Powell August 5, 2014 - 10:31 am

Ruth, thanks for the encouraging words. I believe your points about the church have some validity. The church can certainly be difficult. But Ephesians 5:25 tells us that the church is the bride of Christ. Jesus died for the church. There also is not an example of a person being of follower of Jesus and doing life without the church. If the Bible is the standard, the word of God must direct our lives.

Frank a practical standpoint, I do not believe a person can fully grow into the image of God without the church. Why? For many of the reasons you give above. The church teaches us so much about the nature of God. We learn to forgive. We learn to persevere. We learn to extend grace. We are challenged by others that are further along in the walk. We are strengthened by collectively worshipping God. We are strengthened from being in the presence of other people filled with the Spirit. We are challenged to live out the mission. We are challenged to purge sin from our lives. We are challenged to be more selfless. The church collective is the image of God.

The church is so vital for a deep, intimate relationship with God. I do not believe this is possible without the church. Thanks for commenting! Blessings.

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Tanya Fleenor August 20, 2014 - 11:06 pm

I’m not a biblical scholar, nor am I a millennial — my kids are millennials. 😉 I’m a pastor’s wife in Los Angeles. Lots of millennials here.

I want to respond for just a moment to some of the negative comments. Do I think millennials are sometimes selfish, etc, as some of the comments here indicate? Yes. But we are ALL selfish and in need of God’s grace and leading in our lives. My generation is a mess of selfishness, too. Self is THE sin, it just manifests differently.

As for saying it’s not necessary to understand the current culture to share the gospel, that’s absurd. Paul said he became all things to all people that he might win some. Any good missiologist will tell you that you must know a culture, speak it’s language, find the key to unlocking it BEFORE you can really influence that culture.

And one must begin with love for that culture. Disrespect is not going to accomplish anything. With love and understanding, using Scripture, we can gently prod one another to become more like Christ, like God wants us to be.

Not all millennials will match the criteria described here, but if we, as the church, recognize the framework under which many of this generation operate, we will go a long way in changing our world for Christ.

We do NOT have to agree with their perspective (I agree with some of it, and some I vehemently oppose). As long as we don’t try to put everyone in a box, try to understand them, even if we don’t agree, then the future of the church is bright.

So I appreciate this article for what it is. A thought provoking piece on understanding the younger people in our world today.

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Frank Powell October 6, 2014 - 10:25 am

Tanya, thank you for the words and the insight. You see my heart in this issue, which is reaching the lost. I am not trying to bash the church. I desire to draw people to Jesus. Thanks!

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Hugo Yeshiel RG October 6, 2014 - 11:14 am

Hi Tanya, My name is Yeshiel. I’m going to stay in LA next weekend, I’m looking for a church to visit on Saturday. Where is your church? Could I visit it?

Blessings

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grownupkid August 31, 2014 - 9:31 pm

I am a child of the sixties, and these same statements were said about us. The more things change, the more they stay the same. One thing is for sure, the Holy Spirit is always the answer and never outdated. When He shows up, the language is universal and crosses all generations. This is reminiscent of David Wilkerson’s sermon on The Gospel of Accommodation that I read just today. It’s worth reading.

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Frank Powell October 6, 2014 - 10:23 am

Thank you for your thoughts. While I do agree certain hindrances will always be the same, the culture we find ourselves in today make the “nuts and bolts” of these issues different. I believe it is near-sighted for the church to conclude these issues are all the same. They are in principle, but in reality, they are much different. Thanks again for your thoughts!

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John F. Grunewald September 2, 2014 - 8:05 am

I am 57, got saved in 1974 and basically think the same way as Millennials, EXCEPT I discovered early that neither the church nor the world revolved around how I thought, felt or believed and I still had to be a part of the church. Years ago there weren’t so many churches to run off to and use my talent where I could lead because I thought I was ready so I/we all had to stay and work through it. So, I think this article is great in that it may show where M’s are at, I agree MANY changes need to be made in the church but where is God in all of this? What M’s want, what I want? Are the M’s asking God what He wants for them? I don’t see the M’s desires in this article any different than any other generation. Would be a good idea to get rid of the generational titles and be a part of the church, like it all or not. I have been a missionary for over 20 years, pastored before that. I see many of these same things outside the US. I do not find them healthy for a strong church. A strong church is a church where discipleship is taking place. That means sticking and staying when things get tough, different etc. I am not suggesting people stay in unhealthy situations, there has been to much of that also. I saw a big sticker on the back of a car in the US about a year ago when we were visiting. It said,”The world really does revolve around me” . I think it was meant to be humorous, but I said to my wife, I hope that she is kidding otherwise she is in for a big surprise. 1 Cor. 12:18 “For God has placed us in the body as it pleased Him”. He did not place me for my own satisfaction, although I should find it in this place. He didn’t place me where I asked because it wasn’t my choice, He has never spoken to me and said, “What would make you happy?” Even so I am always happy because I found out His will and there is no better place on earth. I love this young generation, they have a lot to offer, we need them in the church and we want to reach them. So, Frank, thanks for your article, it did help me to see I am a M with twist. Keep writing. JFG

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Hugo Yeshiel RG September 5, 2014 - 6:23 pm

This post is not about reject the biblical life, is about how to treat with the millennial generation. Stop being Pharisees.

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Frank Powell October 6, 2014 - 10:19 am

Thanks Hugo!

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Fred September 10, 2014 - 9:20 am

I agree with Frank and thank him for posting this article. Reading some of the comments kinda confirms for me the ten reasons you put out there for us to consider.

Frank is addressing methodology, ideology and practicality, not theology. If you can’t properly exegete the culture then your finely tuned and honed in exegetical sermons won’t be communicated to people who God wants to hear the Gospel.

Thanks Frank,
Fred

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Frank Powell October 6, 2014 - 10:18 am

Fred, thanks for the comments. I hope these conversations help us all consider how we can reach those who do not know Jesus!

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Guest September 12, 2014 - 6:07 am

I think there is a lot of good info here. These are the reasons i stay away from churches. thank you for writing it.

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Me October 20, 2014 - 6:53 am

I love how people who aren’t millennials think that they know millennials better than themselves… And I love how religious conservatives are failing to notice that regardless of how individual sects of religion MAY address millennial values, millenials ***PERCEIVE*** things differently… This is a social fact supported by extensive research; generational cohorts are socialized to negotiate their place in the world differently. In other words, if a religion truly believes that their beliefs align with millennial beliefs, the religion should try to target how the religious believes align with millennial perceptions…. But they don’t. Hence, the point of this article.

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Aggies October 21, 2014 - 6:56 pm

I’m a millennial and they aren’t any different than previous generations. Human nature doesn’t change and neither should the bible.

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Erik October 23, 2014 - 9:19 am

The article certainly has some valid points. Many of Mr. Powell’s observations about challenges that the Church faces are spot on. However, he has an overly positive view of the millennials. The millennial generation is composed of broken and sinful people just like every generation before it. Yet from reading this article, you might come away with the perspective that the milllennials are some “Messiah” generation. As a millennial, Mr. Powell is right about the fact millennials resent many of these realities in the Church. Yet the Millennials are also responsible for crafting the Church that they would like to be a part of. Furthermore, many millennials aren’t in Churches because they tend to quit things prematurely. Some of that is simply by virtue of the fact that we are younger people. Yet other cultural forces are impacting the manner that millennials don’t stick to anything. Isn’t it also a person’s duty to stick with something even when they might disagree at times? Can’t millennials also make an effort to empathize with some of the older generations? Sometimes it seems that my generation would rather pout in the corner than go out and try to work for change.
Overall, this article was not helpful. Mr. Powell may as well have said that the reason why millennials don’t involve themselves in the Church is because the Church stinks, but Millennials are awesome. He also neglects the diversity that exists within the millennial generation (arguably one of the most diverse generations in history).

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David Hortsch October 23, 2014 - 6:35 pm

Being 23 and finding my self slowly backing away from churches(not because I don’t believe in Christ), I think I’m qualified from experience to reply, but after reading all the comments I feel there is no need. Every thing the author was trying to say has been reinforced through the negative comments. So many of the churches in this country are locked in a time battle, unwilling to change and so the future. Why do you think churches in other country’s are doing so well but we only seem to be loosing members. Third world country missionary’s adapt to the cutler teach the truth then change what is wrong not vise-versa. The church needs to view this generation as a different world (because it is)………I will not talk about the short comings of the parents in this country because that’s a completely different subject.

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Aggies October 23, 2014 - 7:50 pm

I’m a millennial. Human nature doesn’t change. I disagree that millenialls are unique from previous generations.

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Matt October 24, 2014 - 4:32 pm

One grandmother said in our church recently. “If our kids aren’t staying or coming to church any more the fault lies with the family that raised them.” The fault lies with me she said.

Show me a family today that ate breakfast and supper together a majority of the time that is having issues with keeping their now grown children in church. Show me a family that took the truth of God’s word preached on Sunday and lived it out through the rest of the week that is having trouble keeping their grown children in church.

Show be a family that read the Bible together, prayed together, and truly loved one another that is having trouble keeping their grown children in the church.

The world is full of people who love to blame their problems on someone else. The church is not free of guilt, but it has the least amount to confess when compared to the way the culture pushes us to live.

Lastly, as has been repeated often in this post, millennials are grown children. Stop allowing them to live at home. Stop allowing them to float without making adult decisions. Stop trying to cater to a group of people. Preach the gospel. Trust in the work of the Holy Spirit and pray for your children daily.

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Frank Powell October 25, 2014 - 2:32 pm

I like what you say about the role of the family. Statistics have proven families that eat together produce children with fewer issues later in life and a higher percentage of being successful in the real world. The flip side of that is the increase in broken families in America.

I also believe the church is not fully to blame for this. What the next generations wants is not more exciting, more experience-driven worship services. What they want is the gospel and churches preaching and living out the power of the gospel.

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James N October 24, 2014 - 9:56 pm

What I find amusing, is how the core statements of this article are being summarily rejected as “liberal” all the while the “Conservative” church movement (including movements like the IFB) dies all around us. With no Scriptural basis to go on, many of the “conservative” crowd, reject articles like this, based solely on their traditional concept of how church should be.
If Christ builds the church provided the church is open to His building (which He does); either Christ is not interested in building any more churches, or churches are not letting Him build… plain and simple, there is no middle ground. Either Christ does not want more people discipled and saved, or we are doing it wrong.

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Frank Powell October 25, 2014 - 2:34 pm

James, point well taken.

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Frank Powell October 25, 2014 - 2:28 pm

I feel like many of these comments are doing more to promote dissension than unity. Here’s what I want to ask.

WHAT CAN THE CHURCH DO TO REACH THOSE THAT ARE LOST AND INCREASE UNITY IN THE CHURCH?

Here are stipulations for this comment only (not every comment on the blog post, just this comment only):

1.) no negativity or cynical comments (these will be blocked)

2.) make sure your comment is productive to the conversation

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Aggies October 25, 2014 - 5:21 pm

I believe churches can help reach the lost by perhaps service projects in the community. Also,people in the community see the fruits we bear by how we act at work,school,college etc. Individuals in churches need to make sure that the “lost” or unchurched are seeing positive fruits in our everyday lives. I believe in general the bible should be studied both in the Old and New Testamant attempting to put bible verses in context.

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JDM October 27, 2014 - 4:26 pm

I wonder which was harder.. writing this article or criticizing it? yeah thats what I thought
Great Word Frank Powell

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DA October 27, 2014 - 8:48 pm

Not one time in the Bible is the church ever told to follow and mold to the culture of the day. Cultures change, standards change, feelings change, degrees of acceptance change, etc… Christ has not changed! Christ never said to become like the culture! Period! Culture is of the world. (Colossians 2:8) The church is to become like Christ! Christians are to become like Christ! If culture finds its way inside the church house, the church house is becoming more like the world.

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Raymond October 28, 2014 - 2:42 pm

I believe that we often beat the church and hang it out to dry on these issues. Maybe the real issue is that many are running contrary to the Holy Spirit today. Though I believe the church must be flexible, I think the church is sometimes unduly blamed on these issues. Plus, we often act like the Holy Spirit works at our beckoning call when it comes to evangelism. That is, just because we change this or that, does that mean that God is drawing particular sinners at our whim. Food for thought. http://www.HittingHomeMinistry.com

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Millennials and Church November 9, 2014 - 5:26 pm

[…] Here are a few articles, written from different perspectives, that you can use to help start the discussion. This article from Relevant Magazine claims to explain what millennials are looking for in church. On the other hand, this article from CNN claims to explain why millennials are leaving the Church. Frank Powell, a minister to college students and young adults at Campbell Street Church of Christ in Jackson, TN offers these 10 reasons churches are not reaching millennials. […]

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Guest November 13, 2014 - 11:20 pm

The funny thing about this article is that it is written by a millennial. The reason that is so funny is because everyone feels that way at that age; It’s called being young, sorry to burst your bubble. Being a millennial is nothing special compared to previous generations that thought they could change the world.

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Bro. Roach November 18, 2014 - 4:17 pm

All I have to say here to all those who have commented. The God of yesterday, is the same God as today and will continue to be the same God forever. He nor His word ever changes.

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Millennials and Church | Neil Westbrook November 21, 2014 - 9:50 pm

[…] Here are a few helpful articles, written from different perspectives, that can help you and your church lean more about this age group. This article from Relevant Magazine claims to explain what millennials are looking for in church. On the other hand, this article from CNN claims to explain why millennials are leaving the Church. Frank Powell, a minister to college students and young adults at Campbell Street Church of Christ in Jackson, TN offers these 10 reasons churches are not reaching millennials. […]

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Good News, Millennials: You Don’t Have to Save the Church | Eternal Summertime January 27, 2015 - 1:30 pm

[…] and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are […]

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Good News, Millennials: You Don’t Have to Save the Church | The Chronicles January 27, 2015 - 10:00 pm

[…] and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are […]

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Christian Networking » Good News, Millennials: You Don’t Have to Save the Church January 28, 2015 - 2:56 am

[…] and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are […]

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BCNN2 » Blog Archive » The Millennials Are All Right January 28, 2015 - 7:40 am

[…] “millennials and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are leaving […]

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Andrew Root » Anxiety over Millennials January 28, 2015 - 9:35 am

[…] “millennials and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are leaving […]

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Why Your Millennial Outreach Needs a Bit of Bonhoeffer | The Chronicles January 28, 2015 - 10:02 pm

[…] and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are […]

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Why Your Millennial Outreach Needs a Bit of Bonhoeffer | Divine Gospel Radio February 2, 2015 - 6:06 pm

[…] “millennials and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are leaving […]

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Who Needs You Presentation - Daniel Flucke March 4, 2015 - 4:31 pm

[…] The initial impetus for this topic was an article I read in Christianity Today about Bonhoeffer and youth ministry. The title was Good News, Millennials, You Don’t Need to Save the Church. If you have church friends of the right sort on social media, you’ve likely seen articles like Why Millennials are Leaving the Church by Rachel Held Evans, or 10 Reasons Churches are not Reaching Millennials. […]

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Why Your Millennial Outreach Needs a Bit of Bonhoeffer | #ministryhack April 9, 2015 - 3:50 pm

[…] “millennials and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are leaving […]

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Solomon's Porch April 11, 2015 - 10:25 pm

[…] and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim , “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are […]

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10 Reasons Churches Are Not Reaching Millennial... June 25, 2015 - 3:33 pm

[…] If your church wonders why reaching the next generation is difficult, the following 10 points might shed some light on your struggle.  […]

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Top 10 Blog Posts Of 2015 – Frank Powell December 27, 2015 - 4:29 pm

[…] 10 Reasons Churches Aren’t Reaching Millennials […]

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New Emoji Bible Attempts To Make Christianity 'More Approachable' As Millennials Leave Church – International Business Times May 29, 2016 - 6:13 pm

[…] Theories vary as to why this is happening  — millennials distrust institutions, or they’re getting married later, or they think the church is too antiquated — but the trend is a near-universal concern for Christians. So they’re frantically searching for a remedy. […]

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Bible Emoji: Scripture 4 Millennials May 30, 2016 - 9:53 am

[…] Theories vary as to why this is happening  — millennials distrust institutions, or they’re getting married later, or they think the church is too antiquated — but the trend is a near-universal concern for Christians. So they’re frantically searching for a remedy. […]

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What Millennials Want June 14, 2016 - 11:14 pm

[…] is hopeful, and wants to support causes who they feel are really making a difference in the world. Frank Powell […]

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The 10 Most Popular Posts of 2014 – Frank Powell June 16, 2016 - 10:21 am

[…] #2 – 10 Reasons Churches Are Not Reaching Millennials […]

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From the Top Shelf August 6, 2016 - 3:36 pm

[…] interesting blog post came across my screen recently.  It’s entitled “10 Reasons Churches Are Not Reaching Millennials,” by Frank Powell.  I want to share it with you today because I think it’s an excellent post […]

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How Does the Church Reach Millennials? Hint: It’s Not Flashing Lights or Rock Band Worship – USSA News | The Tea Party's Front Page October 23, 2016 - 1:55 pm

[…] Powell, Frank (2015). “10 Reasons Churches Are Not Reaching Millennials.” Frank Powell: Restoring Culture Through Christ.Retrieved from: http://frankpowell.me/ten-reasons-church-absent-millennials/ […]

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I guess I’m a Millennial, but I don’t like it. – Finding My Fancy August 24, 2017 - 8:24 pm

[…] to a number of articles I have seen about why millennials aren’t going to church (here, here, here). I have to tell you that they make some good points. I agree with a lot of what these articles […]

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Ivon Gregory September 28, 2017 - 1:37 am

I enjoyed your wonderful blog.

Thank you for the very hard work done.

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A New Generation of Independent Baptists: An Open Letter July 21, 2018 - 2:50 pm

[…] (Frank Powell, 2015) […]

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How Millennials Can Reach the Church – Scripture & Mission August 7, 2018 - 1:10 pm

[…] “10 Reasons Churches Are Not Reaching Millennials” (2014), http://frankpowell.me/ten-reasons-church-absent-millennials/ […]

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