The final article pertaining to millennials that I want to highlight was found in the “Strangeness of the Month Club” column in The Restoration Herald. The author quotes from a couple of millennial bloggers who share their desire for the church to stop trying to make church “cool”, but who also reveal an even deeper issue that many millennials find objectionable. We begin with the “cool” factor.
“Bass reverberates through the auditorium floor as a heavily-bearded worship leader pauses to invite the congregation, bathed in the light of two giant screens, to tweet using #JesusLIves. The scent of freshly-brewed coffee wafts in from the lobby, where you can order macchiatos and purchase mugs boasting a sleek church logo. The chairs are comfortable, and the music sounds like something from the top of the charts. At the end of the service, someone will win an iPad.”
After noting that this kind of church came about because church attendance plummeted among young adults, the blogger continued, “In response, many churches have sought to lure millennials back by focusing on style points: cooler bands, hipper worship, edgier programming, impressive technology.” She added, “When I left church at age 29, full of doubt and disillusionment, I wasn’t looking for a better- produced Christianity. I was looking for a more authentic Christianity.” Another blogger added, “I want a service that is not sensational, flashy, or particularly ‘relevant.’ I can be entertained anywhere. At church, I do not want to be entertained. I do not want to be the target of anyone’s marketing. I want to be asked to participate in the life an ancient-future community.”
In spite of the fact that we do brew coffee, give away mugs with our logo on them, have two “screens”, and sometimes have a heavily-bearded guitarist on the praise team, I trust we hear what’s being said about trying to be too cool. We do, however, have to draw the line on giving up the “judgmental and exclusive” attitude that many millennials find to be the primary reason they left the church. They really don’t like the fact that we label as sin behaviors and lifestyles they find acceptable.
Sorry, but there’s nothing we can do about that.
God Bless, Rick