Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why Young Adults Don't Go To Church Part Two

Yesterday, I posted part one of Why Young Adults Don't Go To Church.  If you haven't read it, read part one before you read part two.  Not all churches fall into these traps, but enough do that I think I can call these generalities.  Again, these lists are not comprehensive, but if you feel I've missed a major issue, comment and let me know.  If you think I've gotten one wrong or am completely misinterpreting or skewing the facts, again, comment and let me know.  This is a topic that is really important to me and I'd love some dialogue.

Adult/College Life and Church Life Don't Run On The Same Schedule

Think back to your days as a twenty-something, whether it was 5 years ago, 10, or if you're still in that life stage.  When do most "things" happen, be it dates, game nights, or whatever tickles your fancy.  It's usually on a Saturday night.  It's a good time to relax and blow off steam.  It's a good time to truly enjoy the weekend.

With a 2 1/2 year old, I don't get out much on Saturday nights anymore.  Before her though, it was pretty regular to stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. playing cards, risk, or guitar hero.  I'd get what essentially a nap before I had to drag myself out of bed to start set-up for church.  There were plenty of mornings when I would finish up my task, try and find a quiet little corner, and take a nap.  It doesn't surprise me that Sunday mornings have such a sparse population of young adults.

Christians Are Hypocrites

Nothing turns you away from a person's viewpoint quicker than if that person's actions don't align with their words.  Unfortunately, there are people in the church who don't lead by example.  As evident by the #Occupy movement, there are a lot of younger adults are fed up with society, and when they see similar injustices and lack of integrity in the church, it turns them off.

We're Distracted And Exhausted

Between school work and holding down a job or two so we don't drown ourselves in school debt, many young adults have a lot on their plate.  Depending on what life stage their in, add marriage, kids or a full-time job to the mix and you have no time.  It's exhausting.

Add to this convoluted mess the sheer plethora of marketing, messages, and information that young adults are constantly bombarded with, and it's easy to see why so many young adults are dropping out of church.

Young Adults Are Full Of Skepticism

It wasn't that long ago that atheism was looked at as laughable or intellectually unfulfilling.  But that's not the case anymore.  Now, to many people, Christianity seems laughable and intellectually unfulfilling.  To many people, it seems as if you have to check your brain at the church door.  Too many church leaders expect the members of their congregations to take what they say as truth; not enough time is spent on apologetics, the study of why we believe what we believe.

To top it off, there is a constant barrage of media messages, all trying to sell something.  So when they are approached by a Christian, their defenses automatically go up, assuming that the Christian is trying to "sell' them something or take advantage of them in one way or another.  The only way to breach that barrier is by doing things the Jesus way--genuinely befriend them and let time show your actions and motives to be pure.

They Were Never There In The First Place

One of the biggest contributing factors to the lack of young adults in the church is that they were never in the church to begin with!  This generation is one of the most unchurched generations in a long time.  It's not just that young adults are turning away from the church, they were never there to begin with.

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