Today is part five of six blog posts regarding why I am going to build an ark! May seem a little strange so check out this blog post to see what it’s all about, ‘Time To Build An Ark’. For those who can’t be bothered to click on another post, you’ll find out in part six what I am really building, and no it’s not an actually ark! Also check out the previous posts here, part one, part two,part three and part four.
This journey I was going on was only just beginning, but before I felt called to ‘build an ark’ there was one more thing I believed God wanted to show me, and this would be the very issue that would be the catalyst to drive me forward.
As I sat in church I was overwhelmed with the unbalance of demographics. You see I live in a county were the percentage of 20-35 year olds are the same as the 35-5o and the 5o-65 year olds. However, our churches have only a small percentage of 20-35 year olds. This isn’t new, this is something that is probably the same in every county in America.
However, the problem I started to see wasn’t that this age group wasn’t a majority in the church, it was that this age group was leaving the church the older they got. Soon this group will be the 35-50’s and they will have already gone. We very often believe many churches are young and vibrant because our youth and kids ministries are kicking. However, something happens during the course of a life as they enter their 20’s and move into their 30’s. This has led to many leaving to church and not returning.
There are many reasons for this pattern, but I want to concentrate on one issue that is huge to the so-called ‘Generation X’, of which I am a part!
We know we are not perfect! In fact we are very open to sharing our issues, problems and struggles. However, I believe many have been left out to dry. Many churches do not want to open up and talk about their issues and struggles. The problem is, this generation has seen the flaws of many leaders yet are not put off by their flaws but put off by the lack of transparency.
I wonder if many of the today’s leaders had yesterday stood up in their pulpit and shared with their congregants their own struggles. Their struggles with pride, with anger, with insecurity, with lust, with jealousy, with envy, with lack of self-worth, with failure, with relationships, with trust and so forth if the very generation that is now missing in many churches would have actually left? I have a feeling they may just have stayed around.
The problem with the missing generation is that they have no identity with the church of today. They feel outcast, they feel unappreciated and they feel they will never live up to the false standards many leaders claim to live by. What this generation is crying out for is to belong to an authentic community of people where it is okay to talk about their struggles and it is safe to have issues.
Do you know of a 20-30 something that has left the church? Go ask them why? Don’t judge them, just ask why. They’ll tell you, but be ready for God to challenge you, you may not like what you hear!