The Millennial Church: The Future of Christianity (Pt.1)

The landscape of society is changing in front of us. With economic trouble, political shifts, the way in which we process our lives (from left brain to right brain), our society, our world, has been deconstructed, and now in the fragility of what remains, it is my belief that my generation has been left to reconstruct it. In the midst of this great human shift, the Church has also been rattled with the questions of what to do, and what is next. I think that you will see Millennial Churches will have several core values: Integration, Substance, Ecumenical, Space for the journey, and Ethical.

A few weeks I posted some thoughts on research that the Barna group did on science and the Church. When we look at why Christians are leaving the Church because of science, it is not because there aren’t answers out there, it’s because my generation believes that the Church isn’t integrating these answers into conversations, answers, and solutions. Some people are leaving the Church because they can’t stomach how Christianity could deny, what appears to them to be very clear answers about the functioning of the world. As well, others are leaving the Church because they’re tired or apathetic from the constant arguments. Regardless of where young Christians might stand, the Church is not attractive in it’s dealings with science. The days are leaving when we can have subjective answers and unhealthy discourse. My generation would rather be relevant, and integrative, rather than apathetic or compromising.

At the same time, my generation desires tradition. I see more and more people who are wanting to be devoted to a spiritual tradition. While my generation desires to be relevant, they also desired to be rooted. More and more people are devoting themselves to spiritual traditions than have in the past. You see people stepping away from their old traditions and into ones they feel have richer histories. They step away from modern spiritual practices and find ancient spiritual practices that they feel help them connect to God in a much more intimate way.

This generation is desiring not only a way to be more relevant but also more traditional. They want both extremes. They’re searching for God in a close, intimate way, but they don’t want to dismiss scientific data (or be divided by it). The Church of this generation will have to learn how to face this new way of thinking and living head-on if they’re going to be a welcoming space for this generation.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “The Millennial Church: The Future of Christianity (Pt.1)

  1. Justin says:

    “You see people stepping away from their old traditions and into ones they feel have richer histories. They step away from modern spiritual practices and find ancient spiritual practices that they feel help them connect to God in a much more intimate way.”

    To what exactly are you referring to here?

    • Mike Friesen says:

      Thanks for the reply Justin,
      What you see are people leaving their faith tradition (say from Evangelical to Mennonite) or they’re integrating Anabaptist, Orthodox, Catholicism, into their Evangelical practices (another example).

      Also, they’re finding practices like contemplative prayer, lectio divina, things like catophatic prayer, or other practices not from their modern time period into their regular day life.,

      • Justin says:

        Do you see these as new ideas? In my experience these are current traditions and aren’t experiencing much of a resurgence as they never left.

  2. Irm Brown says:

    Not just your generation …

    • Mike Friesen says:

      Irm you’re right. But, where a few people who are older than the Millennials might be participating in these types of rituals, this will be a much more normative than the people who introduced this way of living.

  3. Private says:

    This shift has only just begun. When I think what Earth and her inhabitants might look like only 50 years from now, well it’s hard to say.

  4. […] become to better connect to a quickly-disengaging generation. Mike’s posts can be found on his blog and Corey’s posts can be found […]

  5. Andrew Wade says:

    Thanks for this, Mike. As a past church “planter” and one who desires to see God’s kingdom expressed in everyday life, I see this issue as one churches must grapple with if they want not just to survive, but to thrive. What is the legacy we’re leaving the generations to follow? Are we leaving behind a quaint old-fashioned way of doing church which future generations will read about in history books? Or are we leaving behind an example of a community willing to be constantly transformed by God so that it can, in a very real and present way, be the Church in the world? While the core of our faith is unchanging, the expression of that faith is always in flux as the Holy Spirit leads us into new things, new possibilities, and newness of life. I believe many are starting fresh expressions of church – the body of Christ, precisely because older expressions refuse to be, or limit, God’s transforming power.

  6. Neil Byce says:

    I can totally relate to this and I am not even a millenial. My wife have started looking up a lot of older, traditional practices to observe that we feel much of the Christian community has let go of over time.

  7. […] Mike and I wrote about the fact that one of the reasons that young people who had been connected with […]

  8. […] background-position: 50% 0px; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } mikefriesen05.wordpress.com – Today, 9:34 […]

  9. […] posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part […]

  10. […] posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part […]

  11. […] series from Mike and Corey about Millennial church, you can catch that here: Mike’s posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: