Millenials, Generation Y, or simply, teenagers and the 20- to 30-something population has seemed to slip through the “grasp” of the church’s hand.
Why is it that this demographic, stereotyped as the unimpressed, college-aged young adult so hard to reach?
Recently, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ announcement of the lowered minimum missionary age to 18 for men and 19 for women has stirred conversation among the LDS community, as well as other faiths.
Temples, churches, and community groups overall want to see younger people involved.
Within Christianity, popularized, contemporary services have sprouted all over America; with modern worship services that resemble rock concerts, services housed in untraditional buildings, and a surge toward using the latest technologies like video recording, nifty stage lights and pastors preaching from Bible apps on their iPads.
As a young Christian myself, who is a member of a church that leans toward the modern side with a decent-sized community of people my age, I have no doubt that the Christian church on a larger scale wants to be inviting to my age group.
But the issue here, I believe, isn’t with the Millenials. It’s with the idea that church is a product, and believers are the consumers.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my church and church family for our alternative worship music, industrial-style church building and use of Apple products. But those things flow naturally from our personalities and interests, and aren’t used as gimmicks to reel in the masses.
Truth is the meal, aesthetics are just dessert.
Yes, these tools and notes of culture are good in their created place, but aren’t intended to fuel a consumerist’s fire.
In a conversation with my friend and missions elder at church, he mentioned the Reformed theology movement, which our church falls under doctrinally.
This movement within evangelical Christians has seemed to gain a big following by young adults and has made a resurgence since first sweeping through the 16th century following the Protestant Reformation.
It’s popular with my generation, I believe, because reformed theology cuts through the Christian subculture that treats the church as a marketplace.
People can see through smoke and mirrors, and can tell when something isn’t sincere.
As my elder said, “If they wanted to go to a club, they would, what they’re seeking is truth.”
The idea is to give people truth. As Christians, all we have to offer is the Gospel.
And that is enough.
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