To lead a generation with no biblical background or common knowledge, the church must assume just that: that there exists a fundamental need to provide Bible teaching and basic doctrine. We must lay the foundation.
I am a Millennial. I almost left church.
For me, the exodus of Millennials and Gen Z leaving the church is more than a trend or a number. It’s my life. It’s the friends I was raised with as a Pastor’s Kid. And I’ve spent the last 13 years as a Senior Pastor in the trenches trying to navigate the complexity of shepherding 5 living generations.
With Millennials and Gen Z drifting from local churches, an instinctive reaction is often that we need to make our churches cooler, improve our social media, and present a younger image.
Young people want a more relevant church experience… right? I mean, if we made the music louder, put in concert lighting, and preached on topics like dating and grace, younger generations would come flooding through our doors?
I call this model ‘cool church’. It is a belief that if church were cooler, new generations would come. And I have a growing conviction that cool is not what Millennials are chasing. In fact, they are reacting to our attempts at making surface level changes, and ignore the real changes that are needed.
If we mis-diagnose the problem, we will never heal the ailment.
The idea that to reach Millennials and Gen Z we need better branding or a new website is really a misread on what these generations actually want. They have been marketed and advertised to at an unprecedented rate their entire lives.
So, what do they want? Depth.
In a superficial culture, depth is attractive.