No…this is not a story about the TV series. I will leave that up to guys like this one. I confess: I have never watched it. Not one show. I know.
Depraved Deprived. But it never appealed to me.
I always had trouble with the alphabet generations, you know…the “X,” the “Y,” and “Z.” But, it wasn’t just the alphabet ones I had trouble with. When you pastor a small country church or a church whose median age is 60, you just don’t bother with that stuff. I do know I am a Boomer. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure what that was! Until I read a book by the Rainers called The Millenials. They delineated each generation and told their years and population. Since I pastor a fairly young church age-wise, the book was a big eye-opener for me in understanding the generation born since 1980. It explained why a huge dichotomy exists between previous ways of reaching people and why they are not working for this generation.
FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, IF I MAY BORROW MY TITLE, THEY ARE LOST.
I am no expert on this. Others have already done the work in analyzing the situation. David Kinnaman is the best. What got me thinking though was an article I just read from a college president. He titled it Missing the Millenials and he wrote about their exodus from church. Citing Kinnaman, the author identified three groups of Millenials:
The prodigals, about 10% of those who have left, actually have lost their faith. They consider themselves no longer Christians.
The nomads, about 40% of those who have left, have abandoned the institutional church but still claim to be Christians. They are not hostile but do see the church as irrelevant.
The exiles, about 20% of those who have left, have done so out of disillusionment with the church. Unlike the others, exiles actually want faith to matter, but don’t find it from the church.
I know that is a nutshell version of a very complex group of people. They are not called the LOST generation for nothing. It is easy to look at that and either shrug your shoulders or throw your hands up in the air and say, “What’s the use?” Without a doubt it presents a challenge.
BUT IT IS NOT HOPELESS.
Previous ways of doing things don’t work. They really could care less about big monuments to celebrity personalities. They are turned off by a church that is inward-focused. Doing what we always used to do isn’t working. We need to find a way to connect with Millenials. Honestly? I have no answer. I am an old fogie to many-fast approaching 60. But I am concerned with where this lack of concern for truth will take us down the road. So…I will stop here and ask you: Got a clue? Any ideas you can share with this old man? Is your church community reaching this generation?