Bye-Bye Millennials

Here, in living color, we see the church’s failure to engage an entire generation:

The graphic comes from the Public Religion Research Institute. You’ll notice that it also undermines the evangelical claim that they’re doing better with younger generations than progressive Christians. You’ll see that’s not true. In fact, the evangelical drop is more precipitous than the mainline drop — they’ve also got further to fall.

And, the survey shows, as Whites lose majority in the US, they (we?) tend to long for the good ol’ days:

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Emergent's White Problem

For those who are just joining the conversation, here’s a brief:

  • Soong-Chan Rah wrote about the emergent church in his book — a characterization to which I and others objected.
  • He has now written an article on the subject for Sojourners Magazine.
  • I said I didn’t like the cover image and title — I still don’t.
  • I made some assumptions in the original post about Rah’s article which I have since amended and have apologized to Rah.
  • Some commenters have made suggestions as to how the EC can battle its diversity problem.
  • I responded that those suggestions don’t really fit what the EC is.  I was afraid that my second post would come off as defensive, and I’ve been told I was right.

So, I write this post both chastened and wanting to make a constructive contribution to this problem.  Surely it’s true that the EC is too white — as are so many collections of people in our culture.  We need to combat this, and I both have tried to in the past and will try in the future.  To that end, I offer these suggestions:

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