This weekend I am enjoying a little R&R time in the Berkshires!
While I haven’t been reading as much around the blogosphere as I normally do, I have been following the controversy around Rachel Held Evans‘ CNN Piece last week “Why Millennials are Leaving the Church.” This morning I wanted to link to two responses to that piece that have caught my eye this week and I think deserve a read:
I’m going to invert Evan’s statement from above and rephrase what I see. “People are returning to churches because they find Jesus there.” And, I don’t mean that statement in some prefab everybody’s saying “Jesus loves you” kinda way. What I see is congregations that are seriously attempting to engage their communities are being Jesus communities. To quote Bonhoeffer:“The Church is the Church only when it exists for others…not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.”
Second, in the Washington Post Brett McCracken writes his own take, titled “How to Keep the Millennials in the Church? Let’s Keep the Church Un-Cool.”
A deeper problem is that Christianity has become too obsessed with how it is perceived. Just like the Photoshop-savvy Millennials she is so desperate to retain, the church is ever more meticulously concerned with her image, monitoring what people are saying about her and taking cues from that… Much of this is an outgrowth of the audience-is-sovereign mentality of the seeker-sensitive movement, which has loomed large in evangelicalism’s recent history. Another part of it is Christianity’s capitulation to a consumerist culture where the primary goal is to scratch where the market itches.
I enjoyed Evans’ original article, and I appreciate the conversation it has started. Hope that you find these two pieces insightful contributions to that conversation. Let me know what responses to Evans you have found the most insightful or helpful, too!