I have a HUGE prayer that I’m lifting up to our Almighty God. Millennials and Generation Z individuals have left and are leaving God’s church in big numbers across the US. All believers can come up with lists for why some do: well-meaning older people tell these individuals they “need more faith’, someone use religious practices against them, they don’t feel close to God in the church environment their parents did, and many more.
My prayer is that regardless of why someone left the church or has never been a part of it, that they are reached by someone godly and righteous that can discuss on the individual’s level why a relationship with Jesus can change their life and also love them like Jesus loves everyone. Sometimes all it takes is listening to someone about their issues with church to find out they have been hurt or left underserved. I pray that we reach the unreached and underreached for Jesus.
I feel moved because I’ve been reading this whitepaper: https://www.millennialswhitepaper.com/ and I’m an older millennial myself. I didn’t feel God moving in me while growing up in the Catholic church. I felt the ‘Catholic Guilt’ and shame because I didn’t have biblical knowledge like others even though I should have. I didn’t feel that the church helped me desire a close relationship with Jesus, just wanted me to have head knowledge. I don’t fault the Catholic Church for this, but it’s one example of where people can attend church but not build a relationship with Jesus and could cause them to leave the church. For everyone who has left the church, they HAVE A STORY WHY THEY DID. Are we willing to listen to it honestly?
I pray that we help these individuals reach Jesus by helping them on their walk. If someone wants to attend church service with you, THAT”S AWESOME! But what if they are afraid to do so, or don’t like the church you attend? I pray that we meet people’s individual needs to meet and follow Jesus. Maybe that means connecting them with your friends that attend a different church that this individual will feel more comfortable in, helping them find podcasts and blogs of churches and church leaders that will speak to them where they currently are, or just speaking with them over time and ministering to them yourself until they are healed enough to attend a church service somewhere.
I know inviting people to church can change their life so please do it, but if someone isn’t there yet then be like Jesus and serve them where they are and help them grow their curiosity, love, and desire for Jesus. Don’t assume because someone says they are not going to church that there’s nothing else you can do for them. Pray for them, love them, and help them.