There has been lots of talk recently dealing with millennials and the church recently. Rachel Held Evans has posted several blog posts about this. You can find info about them here.
As a person considered being part of the millennial generation of people, I have seen my friends on both sides of the story either staying in the church or leaving for various reasons. In my personal opinion millennials need the church for a variety reasons especially during college when they start to question who they are and where they belong in the larger world.
As Christian millennials need the church just as much as the church needs us whether we understand or not. Here’s why:
The church can and will provide you a sense of community if you let it happen. The church provides a need for shared experiences and history.
For me I know there are countless of clergy and laity that I can go to for guidance on anything and know they wont judge me for who I am. These people understand me because they what its like to be a college student who is questioning who they are and what they mean for the church.
I know I can step into practically any United Methodist Church and have a community of people who will support me through my struggles even when I don’t feel like I am doing enough.
We might not all agree on how we do communion or how Christ is present at the meal but we all share in the common meal that Christ gave his disciples.
We long for the presence of God. That mystery that can’t compare to anything we have ever experienced.
The church has many great leaders both nationally and locally that have gone before us that can teach us a thing or two about being great leaders.
The church has free built in mentorship. I am reminded when I interact with people both clergy and laity alike who have a few years and a maturity wiser than my own I have people I can go to for accountability and guidance on a number of topics.
Union with Christ
As followers of Jesus we long for the day when communion with becomes complete and this can happen in the church.
This union can be compared to many things including a marriage and a banquet.
No matter what the studies say Christians believe there is a future for the church.
As much as I struggle to fit in with the church at times, as much as I may doubt, fight, and question about the churches future and the place of the young person. I am a part of the United Methodist Church in the good times and bad, for better or worse.
This is why I haven’t given up on the church and I suspect why the church hasn’t given up on me.