Millennials & the Church Part 1

Millennials: Born from 1982-2002

Praise the Lord Saints, we’re going to tackle why black millennials have stopped coming to church. I got asked about it from a few friends that are leaders in the church and figured I’d offer my perspective and the anonymous perspective of a few friends. I quickly realized it be easier to digest in a parts. (Also, tendinitis in my wrist) This is the Part 1. Stay tuned for the remix (Part 2) coming at cha this fall.

I was forced as a child, I’m grown now and don’t have to.
Growing up, there was never a discussion about church. “Get up its 9” is the extent of the conversation. My brother and I didn’t have a choice.  Doesn’t every generation rebel when they ‘get grown’?

Service is too long
And do you know WHY we didn’t wanna go? We’d go Sunday at 11 and leave Tuesday at 3 with no break and no snacks. I still struggle doing it as an adult. I can imagine how kids struggle.

Church Anniversary was recently. Service started at 11….. 11:15. The preacher didn’t get up till 1pm. All them speeches, presentations, poems and shit! It feels too long because what we doing on service feels like open mic night sometimes. It has nothing to do with Jesus. Church is one place anybody can get up and get their 15 even if they don’t have any business with a microphone. By the time you’re frustrated and hungry, you can’t listen or engage in service properly.

Technology
“TD. Jakes and Bobby Jones have helped folks stay committed to Beside Baptist. Now with the ability to live stream church services YouTube past sermons and etc people feel like why so I need to come all the way to the church I can worship right at home.”

I can stream service at hundreds of churches across the country and not get out of bed. It’s lazy. But as someone with social anxiety, it’s just easier to watch from the house.

Church Niggas Christians
“Since I’ve been attending Bedside Baptist I haven’t been personally victimized by any of the church mothers. Nobody has attacked me for being 30, unwed, with no kids. Nobody has told me I need to put more money in the offering plate after I just gave my last. ”

“I stopped going to church for a long time because of “church hurt” but eventually I had to stop risking my foundation with Christ because of people…. I realized that if I keep my eye on Christ and not the distraction/people regardless of what is said or done (which is hard) I’m less penetrated by the foolishness.”
I’ve dealt with church hurt. I was younger in my walk with Christ. It is silly to let God’s people keep you from God. When I’m sick, I go to the hospital. I don’t leave because ‘eww, all these sick people’. We’re all sinners. As I matured in my walk with Christ, church folk don’t bother me as much. It takes LOTS OF PRAYER, chile.

Leadership or lack their of
“…around my area with the black pastors, I just hear too many stories of these pastors and the allegations of baby mommas and side chicks”

“…too many of our churches are centered around leadership (pastor, worship leaders, other preachers or people in prominent placement), and this is a turnoff to a generation of community minded people like us millennials.”

The #BlackLivesMatter Movement that many millennials have embraced is a ‘leaderless’ movement. There is no pastor, president or CEO. It’s all of us or none of us. I do believe a pastor is necessary but we walk on the line of idolatry when it comes to our Pastor and First Lady.

Also, many leaders (deacons, preachers) in the church lead raggedy lives and as someone who is trying to be better, I need an example especially in a man. Men tend to not hold each other accountable. That’s another discussion though.

Sex
Yall lied to us about sex. All yall said was it’s for one man and one woman in marriage and don’t do it until then. As a preteen I wondered why adults kept saying don’t have sex. It didn’t sound appealing anyway.

Nobody told me that sex feels good.

Also, we’re told that masturbation is a sin as well. So how do I deal with my physical urges? I didn’t get those answers in church.

Homophobia/Gender Roles
” I’m a preacher’s kid and queer! Where do I begin….hypocrites, non-inclusive language and consistent perpetuation of gender roles!

The church has very conditional homophobia. Church queens make service lit with the music and the dance ministry. But the gays is going to hell.

Also, gender roles. I believe that gender is God’s design and for a purpose. But I wasn’t taught how to operate outside of wife and mother. When and if it happens, great. But I’m single with no kids and I wanna stay that way for a few years. Ain’t many niggas around here to ‘submit to’. So do I get a fixer upper nigga or what? The church teaches women to submit but not men to be somebody to submit to.

Thirdly, many of us (including me) are products of single parent homes where there was no man of the house. The woman was the leader of the family. I haven’t seen many examples of a submissive wife that were… appealing.

 

This is part 1. I pray that I’ve given some insight. If you’re a millennial and have anything to contribute to the church discussion, feel free to hit me up. This is an ongoing discussion. If you come up in my inbox trying to argue, I’m #ReclaimingMyTime God bless you real good.

 

– Carrie

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One thought on “Millennials & the Church Part 1

  1. Definitely gender roles and homophobia. I stopped going to Church because serving God and worship begins and ends in the heart. People who don’t serve, worship and praise from a pure heart and still go to church to pretend is a waste of my time. It’s a wonder how these same people always have an opinion about how other people should live. Plus, I prefer my worship, praise, and prayer to be sacred and not affected or influenced by any outside energy.

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