One 20-Something’s Thoughts on Churchianity

Jason Micheli —  November 14, 2012 — 4 Comments

As part of our God-Sized Vision sermon series, I’ve been pointing to the findings from the Pew Trust Survey’s data on religion and young people.

Here’s one 20-something’s (a friend) feedback on Church and Christianity. Write it off all you want. A handful of years and your church will be sending him/her mailings, promotions and wondering what you can do to get them interested in your church.

1. Church is decreasingly relevant to my life. Throughout my college career I have slowly become less involved (to not at all) and any thought that goes into faith is usually in discussion with others or in well meaning debate. I enjoy reading and talking about it, but don’t attend church regularly.

2. I associate the word ‘worship’ with very emotional-hands-in-the-air-bad-music-contemporary services, and general discomfort about being surrounded by that. I do like hymns….and bluegrass. The bluegrass worship on sunday morning blue ridge mountain radio is good. But generally followed by a fist-shaking, southern drawl infused, guilt trip. I think worship can be a positive, and have experienced that on mission trips.

3. My favorite part of worship has always been the sermon. I generally tune out to a lot of the other goings-on. I prefer digging in deep, and being critical in a constructive way. An hour of prayer concerns during a service does not make me feel more a part of the community – despite the small town sentiment I wish characterized the times I have had to listen to very gruesome descriptions of “my [insert distant family member]’s [insert personally revealing ailment]”

4. I think most people generally equate a lot of different ideas about christianity to stand true across the board. For example, if you are a Christian you don’t support gay marriage. Even though this is extremely ignorant, I don’t think it is uncommon. Also in college people tend to say that christians are very conservative, can’t have fun that isn’t team building etc. Formality and commitment seem to me to be big reasons why people I know are reluctant to become involved in a church setting. People are much more willing to consider issues/opinions/ideas around a table in the company of friends (with wine) than they are to have the same conversation in a church setting.
Don’t mean to sound so negative, but I figure a critical opinion will be good? Honest as well though. Hope this is sufficient.

Jason Micheli


4 responses to One 20-Something’s Thoughts on Churchianity

  1. If I understood what young people want, I would support it. But if church is too formal or too casual, the sermon is too long or there is too much “other stuff,” church people are hypocrites or they are too solemn and have no fun. . . What do you think they want in a church, Jason? I wish we could provide it for them.

    • I think they want Jesus but not religion, an experience of grace not dogmatism, to belong to a movement and not an institution. I suspect everything else (formal vs casual, music style etc) aren’t really at the crux- no problem intended- of the problem. The reality is many young people have grown up with adults in their lives who’ve never really been converted to the faith. They cultural Christians only.

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