I read articles all through seminary like “Spiritual Nomads,” an article The Lutheran published to offer their explanation about what makes us Millennials tick (i.e. why don’t we come to church). I used to read these articles and wonder myself why my peers didn’t go to church. What wasn’t working for them? What was I getting that they weren’t? Now that I have moved to a new town, been unemployed for five months, am preparing to have a baby, and, most importantly, am not serving a church as a pastor, now I get it. Well, I get it better than I did.
I am having to face the same struggles that my peers are having to face all over the country. How do I meet people? How do I get connected? Where can I find support? (I surprised myself that none of these questions have to do with worship, the Bible, or even Jesus, per se.)
Before this move, I’d always gotten to enter a congregation as a center-of-attention. I was there as a youth ministry assistant or intern. When people make a point of being nice to you and talking to you, you’ll put up with a lot. But my Millennial peers do not have the privilege of being able to walk into a church and feel like they own the joint. If they felt like they owned the joint, they’d probably be there more often already.
In the coming weeks, I want to explore some of the aspects of the church that are just not working for me as a Millennial, a young adult trying to carve out a good life in this world, that even my seminary education couldn’t beat out of me. And I want to explore some potentials in the church that could be examined and developed into some awesome missional ministries.
Courtney Young received her Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in May 2012. She is expectantly waiting her first call and the birth of her first child. Her column will appear frequently at discerningmission.org in the coming months.
Upcoming Learning Experiences
Hybrid Ministry in a Post-Pandemic Church
Understanding, Exploring, & Managing Bias and Burnout
Mere Science and Christian Faith
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