Young Adults Are Demanding a Missional Shift

If you’re wondering what the urgency is for existing churches to make the missional shift for the sake of younger generations (and also why I’m actually very excited about the missional potential of these younger leaders), just read “a letter from an exhausted/exasperated young person who has a complicated love/hate relationship with the church (part 1 of 2).” Here’s just a sample:

“There are a couple things young people simply won’t tolerate. They will not put up with what they deem to be a lack of community and/or authenticity, and they will not abide anything that appears to simply be going through the motions or the semblance of just being part of some spiritual/religious club. They aren’t interested in towing the party line that has no bearing on their social and cultural experiences. And — most terrifying to previous generations — they aren’t threatened by threats of ‘It has to be this way or nothing at all.’

'Thou shalt have no fun' photo (c) 2007, Katherine - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/“Why?

“Because this is a generation of self-starters and micro-entrepreneurship. They have no problem whatsoever starting up their own things. And they have been. And they are. And they will continue to do so.

“And they’re not coming back to darken the doors of the places that insisted it had to be done THIS way and THAT way or it couldn’t be done at all. Churches have been reduced to elementary school playgrounds with the endless bickering and threats made by this faction or that one taking their proverbial ball and going home. And those playgrounds are getting noticeably more empty.

“And the more meetings I continue to sit in on, the more music I sing that I don’t relate to, the more input I’m asked to give on young people and their participation in the church (which will never be implemented because that would require the church to *GASP* change something) … the less I care. Not care about the Church (the whole ‘universal body of Christ’ thing), but care about participating in the traditional local congregation, and the more disheartened I am about the whole venture of it.”

Does this discourage you? Or does reading this motivate you?

  • Ty

    I feel the same way, and I am old. Well, 49. But because I am old, I might be a little more tolerant and willing to try to subvert the stupidity from within.

    • http://www.knightopia.com/blog Steve Knight

      I sincerely wish you good luck with subverting (or disrupting innovatively!) from within!

  • Brian

    Old news. Much of what was expressed here has been expressed by every generation. If that “self-starting, micro entrepreneurship” is real and doesn’t devolve into the church of “me”, I say, go for it! Show us “old folks” the forms that work. I’m prepared to learn. I agree that resistance to change is a real problem, but its a problem that solves itself. I would also suggest that real community embraces multiple generations, not just the young. I’m also ready to take my own medicine, and say that music doesn’t have to be about me, either.

    • http://www.knightopia.com/blog Steve Knight

      “resistance to change is a real problem, but its a problem that solves itself” – true, but that takes an awfully long time as people are living longer nowadays ;-) And yes to “real community” being multi-generational!

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