I’ll just throw this out there in response to Rachel Held Evans, David Hayward, Alastair Roberts and other really thoughtful people that have a lot of worthwhile things to say. Here’s one, far from comprehensive, totally not fair and balanced, or even nuanced, angle that might be worth considering.
The one reason we millenials don’t go to church is because we’ve been encouraged – by our parents, by the media, by our music, by our films, by pretty much every single influence on our lives, all in deep accordance with our inner self-centeredness – to think that the universe revolves around us. Furthermore, we’ve been encouraged to think that anything that refuses to enter into this particular orbit should be blown to smithereens with an intergalactic death ray. We’ve been raised as narcissists. Our opinion matters most of all. We are beautiful and unique snowflakes. We want it our way, registered trademark. That’s why we can’t stand to go to church with people who disagree with us on gays, evolution or beer. They challenge our me-centric universe. They are threats and are to be treated as such.
So we stay away.
And that’s precisely why we shouldn’t. The very reason we don’t go to church is why we really should. Because there’s nothing like a building full of people who disagree with you to challenge your ego. There’s nothing like submitting to someone who clearly knows less you to teach you humility. There nothing like bad church music to teach you patience. I get – I really do – that there are boundaries to this. Churches can be genuinely toxic. Sometimes people are more than justified in staying away – millenials, too. Sometimes permanently, sometimes just for a while. But seriously. Maybe we need to get over ourselves and stop demanding that church be perfect and perfectly to our tastes, opinions and spiritual sensibilities in order for us to grace those pews with our butts.