As a young adult who happens to still go to church and such, I feel that being connected to a faith community offers the accountability, teaching and challenges that I need to really grapple with my faith. For me, personally, church is not an option, but a part of life because God is a part of my life. Often, I am asked by people of all ages and backgrounds why I still choose to go to church in the midst of people leaving. I have watched friends leave, I have been in churches where I am one of the few under 50. Honestly, I don’t know. I have left the faith practices in which I was fundamentally raised. I am sure some of my relatives think I am bat crazy for attending an evangelical church and being so in to God. But, that made it real to me, it made Him real to me. Plus, I had a community of people who supported those choices. People my age aren’t anti-God or anti-faith. But, they are cynical. We live in an evidence based society. Many have had a lot of hurt. They don’t trust the church as an organization. Lynda MacGibbon, a lovely writer, wrote this post on young adults and the church. She works for the organization, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and was one of the staff that helped guide me and many of my friends through our undergraduate years by both challenging and encouraging us. She concludes the piece by saying she hopes the Church can welcome and engage young adults, not for the sake of the church, but for the sake of the young adults. And that point rings true to me. We need to be concerned about those people out there, not just the numbers game at the church. I think people need to admit there is an issue, as the paper she referenced does, in order to find a solution. Young adults are people too and they want to be engaged. Just maybe not in the same traditional Sunday Service ways. Practical thoughts… As suggested in the post… Maybe invite them to a Bible study. A good one with opportunity to ask questions. Or just have an honest discussion. Or invite people to low pressure events. But seriously and most importantly, treat people like people, not matter what their past or their attitude. Friendship goes a long way.
Is Christianity becoming irrelevant to Canadian youth?
That’s a big question, and one that I have been interested in for a long time, particularly in the past 10 years, as I’ve worked for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, an organization dedicated to helping young people think about faith.
If I were to answer the question, based on the conversations I’ve been privileged to have with hundreds of high school, college and university students, the best I could offer is that I wonder.
In my experience, young people are still quite interested in engaging in conversations about faith in God and whether it’s relevant to life on this earth. But are they interested in Christianity, spelled with a capital letter and attached to that other big C word, Church?
Not so much, according to the findings of a new report released this month in Canada called Hemorrhaging Faith: Why Canadian Young Adults are…
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