The Church will prevail–even without millennials. In the back and forth between pollsters and Christians, I feel something needs to be said: Jesus doesn’t need millennials to build his Church.
Churches are freaking out about how they are missing the next generation in their pews. It’s enough to make one wonder if Jesus has actually dropped the ball this time. Maybe he meant “…and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it…that is until the twenty-first century when a generation will arise that refuses to help me in the Church and then everything I’ve planned to do for the whole course of history will instantly go down in flames.”
Christians look at the Pew Research stats on a page and we lose our minds. We feel like we need to come groveling to the next generation of young people, pleading, “Please, please, pretty please, choose us! Come be our savior!”
Perhaps the last thing we need to communicate to millennials is that they are the fix to our churches’ problems. All of this stems from a misunderstanding about God’s plan of salvation history. God doesn’t need millennial help. And do you know what? He doesn’t need your help. He doesn’t need my help. He didn’t need Billy Graham’s help, or Jonathan Edwards’ help, or Martin Luther’s help, or Augustine’s or Athanasius’ help, or Paul’s help, or the twelve disciples’ help, or Isaiah’s help, or King David’s help, or Moses’ help.
God the Father, Son, and Spirit can do bad all by himself. (Figuratively speaking)
God the Father, Son, and Spirit is completely sufficient to accomplish the full plan of salvation from start to finish without our help. The Father has foreordained, the Son has accomplished, and the Spirit is applying everything necessary for the salvation of the whole Church, down to the very last man, woman, millennial, and baby-boomer.
I repeat, the Church does not need millennials.
However, millennials need the Gospel.
Fear of corroding churches should not drive us to the millennial generation. Compassion should. The same compassion that Jesus felt when he looked over the crowds. Millennials are harassed and helpless like sheep without a Shepherd–just like every other generation. The Church has the only word of salvation and holds forth the only Shepherd for their souls. We should be seeking to reach millennials, but not so that they can save our churches. We should seek to reach millennials because they are lost in a world being hated and hating one another. They are in utter darkness. They are groping blindly toward the cliff of eternal condemnation. They desperately need churches that shine forth the Gospel.
God will save many sons and daughters from this next generation. He doesn’t need our help. But here’s the joyous part: Even though God doesn’t need our help, he chooses to use us for our joy. Will you participate in God’s mission to spread the Kingdom of Heaven from east to west? The Great Commission is the most gracious command in the world. It is a command to take the Father-packaged Gospel about his Son who did all the work to a generation who is being prepared by the Spirit to respond in faith. We are completely expendable in this whole thing, but God allows us the joy of glorifying Him as we take the message of King Jesus to the millennial generation.
Brothers and sisters, may we not be motivated by fear but the joy of the Lord and the compassion of our Savior to take the Gospel of the Kingdom to the millennial generation.