If you keep up with Christian news and blogs at all you know there has been a lot of talk about why Millennials are leaving the church.
It is a hot topic for Christian books and speakers, and for good reason. People are trying to understand why Millennials are leaving, if we can get them back and if the problem is with the generation or with the message or presentation of the Church.
New data from the 2012 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s Religious Landscape Survey(that is a mouthful to say and write) shows while the number of people who don’t identify with a religion has risen to 20 percent of the U.S. population, for adults age 18-29, that number rises to over 30 percent. This trend has steadily been growing among Protestant mainline and evangelical populations.
And yet, this is a discussion that is missing a few pieces. If you look closer at these reports, you’ll see an interesting disparity.
The numbers for black Millennials are, in fact, not dropping. That is, black adults age 18-29 are not leaving the Church. The 2007 report shows thatblack Millennials makeup 24 percent of Historically Black Churches , the same percentage as their Boomer Generation parents. Religious affiliation for young black adults going to historically black churches remains stable. If you look at trends between the 2007 and 2012 surveys, there’s not much difference in the numbers for black Millennials.