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An Epidemic? Why Millennials Are Abandoning the Church

An Epidemic? Why Millennials Are Abandoning the Church Read Transcript

- 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.



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