If Christians are no more than present-day Pharisees, why should the younger generation even consider attending church?
Unfortunately, younger generations have decided to leave the church. While there are more reasons to list in this article, we will narrow it down to four reasons why younger generations no longer find church important. It is crucial that we take note of these reasons rather than judging or shrugging them off because by acknowledging them, we will be able to make the proper changes to help the younger generation want to return to church.
1. They Find It Boring
One reason the younger generations have left the church is that they find it boring. Many churches today have non-traditional services and times of worship; however, the younger generation doesn't find this appealing. Rather than being offended by this, churches need to take this into consideration. Churches need services that inspire listeners and catalyze change in a young person's life. The younger generation wants a church that encourages and supports them, not glosses over their needs by settling for the contemporary vibe that they don't use the KJV version of the Bible. Sadly, many churches have been found guilty of doing just this by shrugging off the root changes that need to be made in these "contemporary" services.
Instead of being loud and yelling at the congregation, speak kindly and softly. Share the truths of the Bible in a way that will make them desire to know more about God. Don't make the service boring, and don't have the service so comfortable that people could fall asleep in the pews. Allow your worship to be free-spirited and be able to play a wide variety of worship music instead of strictly hymns. The younger generation would love worship music such as Hillsong United, Bethel Music, and Newsboys.
The main idea for connecting with the younger generation and helping them get back into church is to ensure the church is welcoming and full of love, mercy, and grace. Additionally, the younger generation doesn't want to go somewhere that is boring or somewhere where they feel as though they won't fit in. As a church, we need to do our best to make sure the service is engaging, connects to the listener, and provides a comfortable environment. Consider having younger members of the church as greeters and baristas passing out coffee. Let these younger visitors see younger people engaged with the church.
2. The Church Is Hypocritical and Judgmental
A second reason why younger generations have left the church is that they see the church as hypocritical and judgmental. From my own experience with various churches, I have found this to be true minus the churches I visited during my time in the United Kingdom. The churches I visited in the UK are not similar to the churches here in America. Rather than being condemning, judgmental, and hypocritical, the churches in the UK were comfortable, kind, and full of grace. American churches need to take a few pointers from the churches I visited while in the UK.
The American church is filled with hypocritical individuals and grave judgment. Jesus teaches us not to be a hypocrite or judgmental, yet here we are on Sunday morning, judging everyone who comes in. I have visited many churches in my hometown, and only a few have stuck out as being genuine. Sadly, there are many that judge you the moment you walk in. Instead of greeting you with a friendly smile, they automatically judge the way you are dressed or the way you look. This sad change of events is normally followed by giggles across the pews and more hateful looks, only to find yourself in the back row away from all the judgmental individuals.
As we can see, this causes Christianity to have a terrible name. If Christians act like this, why would anyone want to become a Christian? If Christians are no more than present-day Pharisees, why should the younger generation even consider attending church? All of these thoughts circulate among the younger generations' minds. They want to be surrounded by those who are kind and loving toward them. Nobody wants to be around those who are mean and hateful.
We need to make sure in our own churches that we are not the judgmental and hypocritical individuals. If a person specifically struggles with thinking they are better than someone else, they need to turn to God in prayer and ask for His help. It is never okay to be mean to someone, to make fun of someone, or to make someone feel inferior. God doesn't want us to do any of these things. If we turn a deaf ear to God, He will teach us to change our ways. Choose to change and be kind, caring, and loving to all people.
3. Congregation Members Are Shallow
A third reason why the younger generations have left the church is that the congregation members are shallow. Similar to the former point, the members of the church can be extremely shallow and hurt others in the process. There are numerous churches that look down on you if you are not dressed a certain way, if you don't drive the right car, or if your family unit isn't in one solid, picture-perfect piece. One of my family's cousins got asked to leave church because he was wearing the "wrong" type of socks. As anyone can see, these standards are unrealistic, and they are extremely vain.
Congregation members being shallow has caused the younger generations to leave the church. Shallow people are not good to be around, and the younger generations know it. Even though many of us were forced to grow up and endure shallow people in church every Sunday, the younger generations are not standing for it. They want to go somewhere where they are valued and cared about. It is a terrible thing that the younger generations don't feel this way when they come to church; however, we can see why.
If you have found yourself to be shallow, ask God to help you stop seeing people in the wrong light. Ask Him to help you see all people as who they are—beautiful creations of God, made in His image (Genesis 1:27). God will help you correct your mistakes and help point you in the direction of loving others the right way. Being shallow is nothing a person should brag about because all it does is hurt others and turn them away from God. As representatives of Christ in the world, we must ensure our actions align with His actions.
4. They Feel Only "Christians" Can Go to Church
A fourth reason why the younger generations have left the church is that they feel only "Christians" can go to church. Since church is for Christians, many individuals feel as though they don't belong at church. Church is not only for those who are Christians, but rather, church is open to all people who want to learn more about God. Whether a person is an atheist, a Buddhist, a Jehovah's Witness, or a Muslim, the church is open to all people. Through coming to the church, unbelievers will be taught about the beautiful grace of Christ.
The hope is for individuals to accept Christ through hearing about Him (especially at church). Although for many, it can take quite some time before they are ready to accept Him, the important thing we need the younger generations to know is that they are more than welcome to come and check out some services even if they are not a Christian. Church is a safe place for everyone, and it is meant to be a place of Jesus' love. If you are part of the younger generations, the church welcomes you and can't wait to see you at the next service.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.