- Recent studies show the percentage
of Millennials in church is decreasing.
CBN talked with a few ofthem about their experience,
and a pastor on how he foundsuccess with the generation.
Heather Sells is on this story.
- [Heather] The church has faced
challenges over thecenturies, and the latest
could be one of its biggest: abandonment.
Studies show almost six in 10 Millennials
raised in the church have left.
The renowned Barna Research Group
also found growth in the none movement,
that is, people identifying themselves
as having no religious affiliation.
Young people who grewup in the church told us
the church isn't addressingissues important to them.
- I think there's a lot oftaboo with some of these topics.
Even with like, sexuality and race,
like all that stuff,we don't talk about it.
- I think at times I can feel that pastors
desire to address someof the tough topics,
but I think in othermoments I can also feel
that we're just dippingour toe in the water.
- [Heather] Austin Fedale almost became
one of those statistics.
He initially left the church because
he did not feel known,heard, or understood.
Austin and the people inour Millennial focus group,
however, don't believe it'sjust the church's fault.
- I don't know what exactly has caused
the Millennial generationto come towards things
with a sort of knowing it all mentality.
- We could have a list of all the things
that we would love to find in a church,
but I think the biggest thing is
submitting all of that to the Father,
and being willing to be open to
being uncomfortable and being stretched.
- [Heather] And focusingon big things like that
is making a differencefor one Virginia church.
New Life pastor Jeremy Miller has found
a way to hold on to Millennials.
- I don't even feel likewe try to target them.
Our target is to see people walk
in the fullness of who they are in Christ,
and that they become disciplesand they become these things.
So with that, I think that's
the same story throughout the Bible,
that's what we're focusingon is creating disciples.
- [Heather] Miller is doing this
through a weekly service called City Life.
- It's not like I'm leading this.
We're leading thistogether, it's a group of us
that are doing this.
A leadership team of about30 different young adults
who are hungry for Jesus.
- [Heather] Common threadsare a desire for truth
and for a real relationshipwith church leaders.
- The struggle that I seewith Millennials will be,
like sometimes as a church we'll just
want you to join the system.
And they want to join the relationship,
they want to join the family.
- I absolutely believe that there's
a hunger in our generationfor discipleship.
And I think a lot of that comes through
in a pursuit of authenticityand a pursuit of being real.
- I do think there's a hugeresponsibility on the church
to not just developprograms for discipleship,
but be real and be genuine.
- I mean, we could make it Millennial,
but I think it's all generations
are hungry for the realityand the truth of His presence.
- [Heather] Most church leaders agree
there's no easy fix or formula
that will keep Millennials in the church,
but building authenticrelationships is a great start.
Heather Sells, CBN News.