In his new book, You Lost Me, David Kinnaman expresses that Millennials want a Church that is not shallow. I think my generation is tired of seeing shallow debate over homosexuality (especially when institutional marriage is so broken). When job security is at an all time low, when the poverty of the world has been so blatantly advertised for us, I think we grew tired of the prosperity (name it/claim it, God wants to make you rich) gospel. I think my generation no longer wants the corporate fluff that it has been handed by the Church, I think it wants substance (which I find ironic because we are so infatuated with Jersey Shore).
For most of us who grew up in Christian circles (or even just saw it on TV), we watched churches refurbish sports stadiums into their new cathedrals. We were entertained by worship services that mimicked a Bon Jovi concert. We heard too much noise about not swearing, smoking, drinking, or going to second base with your girlfriend or boyfriend. At the end of the day, we know that largely this is all performance and the performance doesn’t connect us with God. (It connects us with religion). While the numbers of Christians in my generation are decreasing, for those of us who remain, I think we want God; we’re tired with the performance of religion.
I think what we long for is substance. The millennials are the first to step out of Christendom. We don’t want the institution that has so long dominated the generations before us, we want movement. We don’t want the Church to be about maintenance, we want it to be about mission. We don’t want to be known for appeasing the masses, we want to be about the minority. I don’t think they want to hear sermons about a God who has a plan for your life (the very fact that all human beings crave meaning ought to indicate that we know that life was meant to be lived and lived well). I think my generation wants substance that not moves us not only into an abundant life, but calls that abundant life into a social restoration. The performance did a great job of building a container for the institution, we want to know what is inside that container.