Christianity is in crisis. Figures of people leaving the church keeps dwindling especially among millennials. Many Churches are seeking solutions to make Christianity vibrant again for the youth but not much has been done to reverse the downward trend.
For a once leading religion in the world, whose strength relied on the young is losing the battle to other religions. A decline in Christianity is manifested in low church attendance, disbelief in God, disinterest in prayer and Bible-reading— generally, low interest in the things of God.
Research conducted by Life Way Research Survey noted that about 66 percent of Americans between 23 and 30 years said they stopped attending church regularly for at least a year after turning 18.
Here are 7 reasons millennials leave the church
1. Moving to College or University
Going to College/University is often one of the biggest life-changing decisions for many millennials and with it comes a drop in church activities. Most millennials move to colleges away from home and church and on some occasions, totally abandon church activities even when they are back home on vacation.
More often than not, it’s not about abandoning the church, exposure to the “outside world,” and new acquaintances could cause millennials to lose track of the church and begin to think of it as irrelevant in their lives. This is often the case when one leaves home to a new environment and become independent in choices.
2. Judgemental/ Hypocritical Attitude
This has to do with the perception of the church about young people and how they relate to them when they are on the wrong path or engage in activities or behaviors contrary to doctrine. These are young people at the prime of their lives and the church should be tactical when confronting them. Remember, the goal is to help transform behaviors unaligned with the church and not to judge them or exhibit traits that makes them feel unwelcome.
Millennials constantly want feel a sense of belonging in any association they find themselves in. A disagreement over a church’ political view could cause mass church dropouts as those who do not agree with the church’ position begin to feel like outcasts. They would rather associate with people who share both political and Christian beliefs
4. Lack of Growth Opportunities
A church should not be all about spiritual growth as it could be detrimental the overall wellbeing of young people. The church is expected to be concerned about other aspects of growth including personal, career and financial growth as such, when young people do not reap such opportunities, they turn to leave and affiliate with groups satisfying that need.
5. New Job
Leaving church becomes an easier option when millennials land their first real jobs. They tend to spend much hours at the job and even accept to work ‘odd hours” and on weekends to please employers or to get promoted. At this point, church is a secondary matter to them.
6. Pastor Related Issues
For those who build their experiences around pastors and idolize them, any negative encounter or dealings around them (Pastors) affects them (Mellinials) so much that, they tend to lose respect or become disinterest because they are disappointed. The next thing, they are quitting the church
7. Unappealing Worship style & Irrelevant sermons
When the worship style is unappealing to them, they might feel disconnected and leave the church. At some stages in the lives of young people, they yearn for sermons that directly speak to their situation, challenges and ideals. When that link is missing, they tend to look elsewhere.
These reasons enable churches to rethink church management/organization that enforces new measures geared towards reversing the trend.
What is also worth noting is that at an older stage in their lives some return after encouragement from family and a desire to come back to God.