Sunday, December 10, 2006

Young Christians and the church

Lee Grady has insightful points about the younger generation and the church in a recent blog post. See the whole entry here.

"In case you have been in hibernation for the last few years, today’s young Christians are called millennials. People in this age category have also been labeled Generation Y, the Google Generation, the MySpace Generation, the Net Generation and even Reagan Babies. Here are some of their characteristics:

"1. They are not happy with the status quo church. They are bored with tradition, canned programs and dead religion. If church doesn’t feel relevant to the world they face every day, they are not interested. And they will boycott church if you refuse to change.

"2. They see through our hype. Older Christians have been conditioned to tolerate certain learned behaviors in church—such as manipulation to get money in an offering plate or loud preaching with no content. Millennials are not impressed.

"3. They have rejected hypocrisy. They are tired of us preaching one thing and doing another.

"4. They want authentic mentoring relationships. They ha[ve] brutally honest questions about how to grow spiritually and how to hear God’s voice. Many millennials today don’t have functional family relationships, and some battle with deep disappointment—and resulting cynicism—because of the way they have been rejected. But this has created a great opportunity for us to build bridges that span the generation gap.

"5. They are hungry for God’s power and presence. They don’t like fake spirituality, but today’s young Christians are passionate for heartfelt worship, authentic discipleship and compassionate outreach. They don’t want to just talk about faith—they want to live it.