The LICC in London, UK hosts 4 nights where we are able to discuss the content of this book. About 30 people join in this endeavour. The extra treat: Ruth H. Perrin, the author, joins our first and fourth session.
Last week we kicked it off with liturgical prayer and discussing the introduction and first chapter, hosted by Dave Benson and Tim Yearsley.
This book discusses British youth and their faith lives but I find many things very much applicable to the German or even wider European context.
In her research, Ruth found out that 61% of the 18-35-year olds believe in spiritual forces, but only 41% of them believe that religion is good for people and important to society. 73% Christians drop out. Only 4% are resilient disciples, attend a local church regularly and engage with their faith community above and beyond worship services.
This is a staggering number and I see this happen all across the continent. We are missing the Gen X and the Millennials in our churches. Most of them are not hostile to religious faith, they simply do not have any contact at all with religion.
Over four episodes I will share some of my learnings and reflections:
From the first session:
The British teens are memory-less when it comes to basic understanding of Christianity. The generational chain that had passed on religious knowledge had been broken, and broader institutions no longer reinforced that worldview. p. xi
Emerging into a stable adulthood can take Millennials most of their twenties. In short, 30 is the new 21! p. 6
Millennials are paradox: often strongly idealist but not always equally activist.
Most young millennials simply want a happy life.
The Americans coined the phrase Moralisitic Therapeutic Deism, to describe the quasi-Christian worldview of many American Millennials. They understand God as the “Divine butler and cosmic therapist”. p. 8
Core values of Millennials:
- Collaborative participation p. 11
Authenticity: The desire is outworked in a strong desire for community
Tolerance: Social science have validated human experience as a legitimate source of authority. Freedom is the right to self-expression. Millennial tolerance means they tend to look for points of affinity than differences both within and beyond the church. Experience is often prized over objectivity.
Emerging adults are likely to ask, “Does it work?” rather than “Is it true?” p. 14
Collaborative participation: If Millennials are professionally unhappy, they consider it their responsibility to find employment that does make them happy. If they feel valued, included and have positive relationships, Millennials will typically make creative and significant contributions to the teams they belong to. p. 15
The Emerging Adult Active Affirmer is looking for experiential worship and engaging, pragmatic biblical teaching, a spiritual home that will provide community, and ideally a place where they might be able contribute in some way. p. 18
More info on the book: https://www.amazon.de/Changing-Shape-Faith-Lives-Millennials/dp/0334058317
Check out the blog by Ruth: https://discipleshipresearch.com