Relevant has an article online about some of the reasons that young adults are leaving the church. One point from Kara Powell, executive directors of the Fuller Youth Institute, sticks out to me and is something I deal with a lot.
“We asked our students when they were college juniors, “How would you define what it really means to be a Christian?” and one out of three—and these were all youth group students—didn’t mention Jesus Christ in their answer; they mentioned behaviors. So it seems like [young adults] have really picked up a behavioralist view of the Gospel. That’s problematic for a lot of reasons, but one of which is that when students fail to live up to those behaviors, then they end up running from God and the Church when they need both the most.”
Bam. Christ-less Christianity. While obedience is a vital part of our faith let’s not for a second preach that salvation is about do’s and don’ts. Christ’s work on the cross covers your sin and in light of that you live differently. I have this conversation regularly with young adults wrestling with what it means to be a Christian. The church has to do better than the moralistic modes of the past. When we feel like we can’t live up to salvation (which we can’t) we miss the point of Christ’s work on the cross.
There are myriad other issues that drive young adults from the traditional church and we must challenge them. This does not mean you change style or carpeting but instead get Christianity right and makes things of first importance important again.
Read the Relevant article here.