4 Things Millennials Wish the Church Would Be Blog Feature
Marian V. Liautaud

By: Marian V. Liautaud on January 15, 2019

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4 Things Millennials Wish the Church Would Be

Culture | Millennials

The mass exodus of Millennials (those born between 1984-2002) from the Christian faith has caused many leaders to wring their hands about the future of the church. Some have answered Millennials’ criticisms that the church is irrelevant and boring by trying to be trendy and hip. But an Aspen/Barna study—Making Space for Millennialsreveals that Millennials may be looking for just the opposite.

Millennials, it seems, wish the church would just be, well, the church. Here are four key findings from the Aspen/Barna research that point to this conclusion.



1. Modularity

“Modularity” describes the way Millennials assemble their life. When it comes to religion, they pick and choose the spiritual teaching they want to receive, because they were born into a digital world and literally have access to a constant stream of information. What they don’t always have is the wisdom to understand what teaching is trustworthy and what is not.

Millennials are looking to mature Christians to help them curate Truth from all the content that’s available to them. Churches that have connecting spaces, such as coffee shops, lobbies with seating, and small group gathering spaces, provide the kind of space that fosters the intergenerational relationships that Millennials say they’re looking for.


Learn more about Millennials as a generation and the impact their shared values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church or organization. 
Download a free sample chapter from Making Space for Millennials.

Read the Research Sample


2. Visual Clarity

Millennials in the Aspen/Barna study expressed an appreciation for clear messaging on where to go once they enter the church and where to find information. They want to be able to answer the questions, “Where am I?” and “What’s expected of me?”

Whether a church looks more like a cathedral or a modern megachurch, Millennials appreciate the visual clarity that good signage and clear messaging provides.

3. Respite

Our culture is highly fragmented and frenetic, and there are few places to take a breather and gain much-needed perspective. Millennials suggested a strong desire for space to rest and reflect. Churches that build in quiet places for personal rest are providing a meaningful respite from Millennials’ fast-paced lives.

4. Nature

One of the ways churches can help point people to God regardless of the type of architecture of their facility is by bringing nature into the church. Nature is an element that Millennials say helps them connect with God. And it helps address their need for respite.

Want to learn more about Millennials and church architecture? Download a sample chapter from Making Space for Millennials. To purchase the full report, go to barna.org.

Making Space for Millennials - Chapter 4 Download


About Marian V. Liautaud

Marian served as Aspen's Director of Marketing from 2014 to 2021, sharing stories about how Aspen designs, builds, and furnishes space for ministry impact.