As young adults, we hear a lot of negative things about our generation, and very rarely do we hear good things. Yet millennials are dominating the workplace. More than that, we are entrepreneurs, leaders within our community, activists, social justice seekers, hungry and searching for something bigger than ourselves. We are looking for an authentic expression of our faith, we are looking for the church. How do we find the church? Well Jesus tells us; we look for where the presence of God dwells and wherever God is, so also is love.
I think the church is finally waking up, disoriented and trying to figure out this very question, trying to understand the transformation of Christianity that has happened over the last 50 years. And what a transformation; baby boomers are no longer the majority population, Christianity is no longer a white western dominant faith, and oh yeah, millennials are everywhere, working to figure out our place in a world turned upside down. How is the church facing this new world? How is the church welcoming in new leadership, encouraging this generation, and adapting to the new face of Christianity? How is the church leaning in and getting on board with the way the Holy Spirit is working?
The church needs to start here, with millennials; to fling wide its doors, put more chairs around the table and graciously say, “come, sit, join us, there’s much work to be done. I can’t wait for us to do it together.” The church cannot afford to leave millennials out of the discussion. But how does the church go about this transformation when for centuries it has been age exclusive, gender exclusive, and race exclusive?
Maybe what the church needs is a new vision. I am saying this because the truth of the matter is, the church needs a new vision to allow it to articulate the current diversity and social context it is in. Maybe part of the reason the church is struggling to bring people to its doors is because it is failing to make room for them at its table. The church thinks it has been written off by our generation, when in reality, we are pressing in, waiting to see the church participate in the lived out gospel. We are hoping to be a part of a liberation that is rooted in faith. We’re asking to be invited to the table, hoping for the church to be the gospel-living and gospel-loving being that it is meant to be. We want to know how the church is responding to social movements in the face of the gospel’s cry for justice. Our work is bigger than a generational gap; our work is disciple making; obeying the only command from Jesus about the church.
So, invite us to the table. Let’s live and love together. Let’s call others to Jesus so the church may be built even stronger! Invite us to the table, for there is much work to be done. Invite us to the table so that we may be part of God’s work. Together.
Written by Ruth Langkamp