(Reblog) Why Millennials Are Leaving The Church

The Notorious RHE has done it again: hit the nail squarely on the head, Jesus style.

I wouldn’t consider myself a fan and I don’t regularly follow her blog, but just about everything she’s written that’s come my way has struck me as insightful and cutting to the core.  I predict that she’ll be one of the primary voices from my generation that gets remembered and quoted for decades, if not longer.  In short: she’s good.

In this particular piece, I felt like she had a tape recorder going inside my head.  Like her, I exist on the chronological borderline between Gen X and Millennial.  To all you pastors, parents, teachers, and church members who desperately want to know how to attract people my age (33) and younger: THIS IS YOUR ANSWER. Read it and read it well.

Let me say it again in no uncertain terms, just so we’re clear: This is what we’re thinking. This is what we’re looking for. If you really, actually want us in your church (and not just to stroke your ego and pad your pews, but because you’re interested in actually doing ministry with us), then these are the values you need to learn and internalize.  Here are the highlight’s from RHE’s article…

Reblogged from CNN

By Rachel Held Evans

Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.

What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.

We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against.

We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.

We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.

We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities.

We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.

You can’t hand us a latte and then go about business as usual and expect us to stick around. We’re not leaving the church because we don’t find the cool factor there; we’re leaving the church because we don’t find Jesus there.

The emphasis added on that last sentence is mine because that’s ultimately what it comes down to, not just for us, but for every generation.  This is the perennial problem and I’d bet dollars to pesos that you once said the same thing about the church in your parents’ generation and I’m going to hear that same complaint from my own kids one day…

Click here to read the full article

(Reblog) 11 Things I Wish More Pastors Would Say

Reblogged from the epic Rachel Held Evans:

I’m blessed to have had several such pastors in my life, though I realize such humility isn’t a given. The irony, of course, is that saying these things not only liberates a congregation; it also liberates the pastor. Often, the most meaningful and impactful words a pastor can share are spoken away from the pulpit.

So what would you add to this list? 

What’s something a pastor has said to you that was painful or destructive? What’s something a pastor has said to you that encouraged, healed, or inspired?

Click here to read the full list

(Reblog) The abusive theology of “deserved” tragedy…

Reblogged from Rachel Held Evans:

What’s worse than the world seeing Christians disagree with one another is the world seeing Christians remain silent when their own go on TV and tell the parents of children lost in a tornado that those children and their families got what they deserved. What’s worse than the world seeing Christians disagree with one another is the world seeing Christians remain silent and supportive when their own are accused of multiple counts of child abuse and appeal to the first amendment to try and avoid investigation. What’s worse than the world seeing Christians disagree with one another is the world seeing Christians perpetuate an abusive theology that teaches people that whatever abuse they are suffering, whatever pain they are enduring, whatever violence they have been subjected to, is deserved and perpetrated by God. 

Click here to read the full article

Why Progressive Christians Should Care About Abortion

Rachel Held Evans once again offers the kind of all-around challenging and insightful commentary for which she is becoming famous.  I’m not necessarily on the same page with RHE on everything, but her words are well-worth considering.  As always, commentary and responses are welcome.

Reblogged from Rachel Held Evans:

I think a lot of progressive Christians like myself, eager to distance ourselves from some of the rhetoric and policies of the Republican brand of the pro-life movement, shy away from talking about abortion, when our call to do justice and love mercy demand that we speak and act to address this issue, even though it may be more complicated than we originally thought. 

Click here to read the full article…