Why The Church Is Losing My Generation Pt.5

Throughout this whole week we have discussed why the Church is losing my generation. We have discussed the issues of Relationality (http://wp.me/pFnzm-dP), Substance (http://wp.me/pFnzm-dS) and Apathy (http://wp.me/pFnzm-dW). My generation is a true enigma, a complete identity mess. We are polarized, and, yet we want relationships. In a larger sense, many of us have become the extremes of the things we have observed. Kids in my generation who grow up religious either reject or become über religious. People who have hard-working and independent parents, often become lazy or extremely hard-working and independent. A lot of the time, when people are following others they often become an extreme version of the generation before them. We become louder and more militant. And, in many instances when end up rejecting it, or embracing it even more, we often become angry or cynical.

I have spent a lot of my time in this camp. After being spiritually abused by Churches that I grew up in, people who I respected, classmates I went to school with, I became very angry at the Church. I would ask questions, and they would shoot me down. I would make observance about the failures of the Church and society, and I would be belittled by the masses. When you are attacked for something that you see as wrong, it is very easy to become cynical. And, with how much my generation is beginning to think more and more differently than previous generations, it has been easy to become angry and cynical.

But, don’t give up on us. In our immaturity and lack of identity, many of us have fallen into an us vs them mindset. This is what the immature ego does. This is what the immature identity does. We make enemies. We need to be proven right and in doing so we have lost the point of our cause because it was no longer about us serving something bigger. It was about us needing validation, a sense of self-w0rth and self-purpose. So forgive us. Sometimes, in finding ourselves we become loud and angry, so forgive us. Sometimes, when we are spat on, we become cynical and more hopeless. So forgive us.

My hope is that when you can recognize those of us who are searching and wanting answers and want to be part of something bigger, that we can have the space to mess up. That we are allowed the space to ask question, to be loud, to even be angry and cynical. This is so much a part of the journey. Failure and pain in one step of the journey, will give us the grace and wisdom to move onto the next. So give us the space and compassion during times of failure and pain, so that the grace and wisdom to move forth may be done more easily and less violently. And, be open to what we have to say because even when it doesn’t seem right in your eyes, we are seeing something on a different level and realm that you may not understand. So give us compassion to be wrong and give us space to be right.

This is really the point of all these blogs this week. Help create a space to have and create relationships. Help us in our asking questions and formulating answers. Encourage and love us when we are apathetic. Validate us and give us the space to feel like what we see is wrong and that we need a change. Give us the space to be loud, depressed and anxious. When you do that, you will find the evident light that is my generation. A generation that is really like no other. One that has high hopes and dreams for the future.

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5 thoughts on “Why The Church Is Losing My Generation Pt.5

  1. […] love Mike’s post today. Having watched him move from angry middle schooler to a thoughtful young adult has been such […]

  2. Michael says:

    Mike, I’ve recently come to your thinking space here, and I do enjoy it. I don’t see your age written anywhere, but I assume that you and I are of the same generation. I’m 29, and I completely sympathize with the thoughts you’ve expressed. My personal path wasn’t exactly the same, I skipped anger and went straight to cynicism. I actually became really frustrated with my generation during college, because what I saw (in others and myself) was plenty of criticism and exodus from the Church, with little effort to change it. I wasn’t ok with this. But I still didn’t like sitting in the middle of it. I ended up moving, first to Africa and then to Europe, and in so doing became I guess one of those ‘über’ folks you mentioned. But not in the militant or old-school doctrine sense. I love a good question, and think we all need to ask them and then follow through to answers with God. And I do believe He cares about his Church too. Now I’m in Europe, where there’s plenty of apathy toward the Church, but less within it. In a culture where it really is taboo to be a Christ-follower, it’s refreshing to be a part of and build communities that need each other to flesh out our faith together. It’s not easy, but it’s whole-heartedly different from the lukewarm bleh that I seem to remember from much of the cultural Christianity of the States (which a lot of Europeans see as just that- cultural, cute, and a little silly). I’m not giving up on the world-wide Church or the American one though. I think some of this polarizing will ultimately work out to cleanse and refine it, and I’m glad to be alive today.

  3. Linda Sutton says:

    Hey we are all like sheep that have gone astray we make mistakes that’s why we need God to show the way and get back to the word to set us straight, sorry for your pain Gods perfect love is the answer what more can I say.

  4. Hey, great points. I’m really digging your blog

  5. […] with a hope-filled vision for the Church, because I came across his blog series on “Why the Church Is Losing My Generation” and was really struck by his thoughts. I got a chance to chat with Mike via Skype the other […]

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