Yesterday, I spent the day in Phoenix at the “You Lose Me” conference. A lot of the data in the conference can be found in UnChristian, The Next Christians and You Lost Me, 3 books that every church leader should read.
Here are some things that jumped out:
- Make the gospel simpler, but no simpler. By making things too simple, dumbing down, we lose entrepreneurs and scientists. It is complex, we need to communicate the complexity and simplicity of the gospel.
- The gospel is a simple message.
- Because of brokenness in families and fatherlessness, we need call on strong families in our churches and call them to be on mission with other people’s kids.
- This isn’t the first time that believers have faced complicated cultural realities.
- The best biblical metaphors for our time is exiles in Babylon.
- This generation want to have money mean something, to be more than a paycheck.
- The high unemployment rate is one of the reasons this generation feels so disconnected.
- There is a generational desire to make change.
- The tough reality for millennials is they graduate college with 27K in debt. 1 in 3 18-29 year old are unemployed after college.
- We need to show students that there is no wall between sunday and monday.
- Millennials need to see how Jesus can transform their jobs, lives and monday’s.
- This generation is more in debt than any other generation.
- You don’t get to be in the disciple making business if you aren’t talking about money.
- The problem is faith and money rarely meet.
- The leading cause of divorce is money. It’s because of our relationship with money and if 2 people can talk about money.
- The frequency of arguments about money, statistically the chance of divorce goes up.
- Training on money and faith needs to be more than just classes and workbooks, we need people who walk with others and disciple them through money.
The way people leave church
- 7 out of 10 people lose their faith as young adults.
- Most of them are leaving church, not Jesus.
- The least common, 1 in 10, become an ex-Christian, people who grew up in church and drop out.
- The more common is nomads, 4 in 10, are lost to church. They say things like, “going to church is optional, I have no interest now. I grew up as a Christian but have since tried other faiths or practices.”
- 69% of Americans say they have made a personal commitment to Jesus, yet many are spiritual nomads.
- 3 in 10 Americans are exiles. They say, “I want to follow Jesus but connect with the world. I want to help the church change its priorities to be what Jesus called it to be. I don’t want a comfortable faith that my parents have.”
- This generation is more willing to be challenged than we are willing to challenge them.
- Exiles seek to do mission in the areas the church has tuned out: fashion, business, film, science.
- Churches need to stop talking about people who leave the church as though they are stupid.
Not your Father’s Babylon
- We live in digital babylon.
- We live in a culture dominated by multi-national corporation.
- This generation is a selfish, narsisstic, sexualized, brave and loyal to their peers.
- We need to teach our churches how to live on mission in the midst of a digital, sexualized culture.
Why Millennials are Different
- We don’t have a mainstream culture anymore because of the news cycle
- The most diverse religious, ethnic and sexual culture ever
- The typical teenager uses on average 10 hours of media per day
- Indifferent towards denominations and religions, distinctions don’t make any sense to Millennials
- They ask, “why do I have to be a certain kind of Christian?”
- Because of the change in media, Millennials are looking for meaningful relationships. They are skeptical of the celebrity Christian.
- Socioligists say that peple are launched in life when you leave home, finish school, financially independent, get married and have children.
- In 1960, 70% of adults completed these 5 things by 30.
- 37% of adults complete these by 30 today.
- % of live births to unwed mothers:
- 5% in 1960
- 41% today
- All the best human inventions in history are now in our pockets on our phones.
- This generation doesn’t bank at a bank, buy music at a store, but they have to go to a church to find Jesus.
- This generation is not just sort of different, our culture in discontinusouly different (and we’re all immersed in it).
Reversing the 59%
- The first thing to reverse the trend is meaningful relationships.
- 7 in 10 who left the church do not have a close friend in church.
- The second is practicing cultural discernment together.
- Reading scripture and watching film together.
- Watch film and culture and talk about it with students.
- Talk about the values in the media we are consuming.
- The third is reverse mentoring
- We need the next generation to help us
- Younger generations become the kind of Christians that older generations are.
- Just because you attend church or student ministries, does not mean you are being discipled
- The fourth is vocational discipleship
- Helping your church see that vocation and calling matter
- The fifth is tune young people’s ears to the voice of God
- Teach them how to hear God