Archive for January, 2014

Why Stay in Church

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Church Building PictureCurrently, the young adult class is studying why you should stay engaged in the life of the church.  There are many reasons why people DON’T stay, but the Barna Research Group decided to do a study on why young people, specifically Millennial’s, DO stay in Church.  There are 5 basic reasons which I will outline below, not in the order of the research, but all 5 are listed:

1.  Connection with Jesus:  This is what the church is supposed to do – facilitate a connection with the Lord Jesus Christ.  When a church helps young adults do this, it will help them stay engaged and involved and serving others in the name of Jesus.

2. Meaningful Relationships: This initially seems obvious, but what the Barna research found is these are really relationships between older members and the young adults.  It is more like a mentor who can also be seen as a real friend.  Thus, if churches fostered more of this type of relationship building, young adults would tend to stay around after they turned 18 and graduated from high school.

3. Cultural Discernment:  This is also easy to misinterpret, especially for older folks reading this blog.  You see, it’s not how to avoid and attack the culture, fighting the evils of abortion and gay marriage.  In stead, this is how to be relevant and effective as a Christian in the culture.  That is, what is the purpose of my life in the church – is it relevant?  Does my life make a real difference in the real world?  It almost imply’s social activism.

4. Reverse Mentoring:  A church needs to make reverse mentoring a priority.  This is exactly what it sounds like – the young people mentoring the older folks.  The obvious area is with technology including instagram, Kik, text messaging, the internet, and smart phones in general.  However, this also means that the church must help Millennial’s discover their sense of mission and how they can lead – real leadership – in that mission.

5.  Vocational Discipleship:  Churches need to help the millennial generation see how their profession fits into the faith.  College majors and the careers that follow should not be separate from the faith – God must be the god of our whole life and the church must stop making an artificial separation between the secular and the sacred -it’s all sacred.

The study is entitled, “5 Reasons Millennials Stay Connected to Church“.  Just click that title and see the summary of the study from the Barna web site.