Season after Pentecost, 2023
If you can't tell, it seems (to this author, anyway), like a banner summer for new writing about the church.
In the same issue of Faith and Leadership that profiled the exciting work of a colleague of mine is found the article "Change wisely, dude" by Andrea Palpant Dilley. This was cited in "Young evangelicals are getting high" over at The Christian Pundit. This same conversation has now surfaced on the CNN Belief Blog.
Invariably, after I’ve finished my presentation and opened the floor to questions, a pastor raises his hand and says, “So what you’re saying is we need hipper worship bands. …”
And I proceed to bang my head against the podium.
But here’s the thing: Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances.
Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions – Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. – precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.
What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.
Evans, Rachel Held. "Why millennials are leaving the church". CNN Belief Blog. 27 July 2013
There's a sea change of thinking here, if we are wise enough to listen.
Are we listening to the fact that evangelicals are holding up "high church traditions" and naming the Episcopal Church as something they want?
Is this still the Episcopal Church they seek? Have we changed wisely in the past?
Millenials in the church are seeking a tradition with authenticity that is asking questions that matter.
What are we doing about it?
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