In today’s world, we are constantly connected. Whether it’s Wi-Fi on planes and trains, or Bluetooth-enabled cars, or even waterproof devices that allow us to check e-mails in the shower, people are wired—and weary. Based on an Aspen/Barna study, the next generation is looking for a place to rest from their highly plugged in, fragmented lives. The church may be the perfect place for them to find it.
When footage of an inferno engulfing Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris flashed across our news feeds, it felt as if the world collectively gasped. How could this iconic cathedral be at risk of total destruction? What would Paris be without Notre Dame to anchor her? One day later, the fire barely extinguished, $300 million was donated to restore the nearly devastated 800-plus-year-old building. Before the end of the week, donations had reached $1 billion and counting.
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 Millennials—reveals that Millennials may be looking for just the opposite.
Many studies have been conducted and much has been written exploring the trend of Millennials (born roughly 1980-2000) leaving the church. A survey done by Barna Group, for instance, shows that between high school and age 30, 43% of Millennials who were once active in their faith have stopped attending church regularly. Additionally, more than 50% of these young adults with a Christian background say they are less active in the church compared to when they were 15.
When asked about the biggest challenges facing the church of the 21st century, church missiologist and president of Lifeway Research, Ed Stetzer, replied:
You’ve seen the statistics. If you’re in ministry, you’ve probably witnessed the problem firsthand. The Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are leaving the church in droves...and staying away. Approximately 70 percent of those raised in the church disengage from it in their 20s. One-third of Americans under the age of 30 now claim “no religion.”
Is the Church You're in Today Built to Reach People Tomorrow? Now, more than ever, churches need to invest in well-designed facilities to help create space for people to connect with God and others. But the way that people experience God and community is changing. In this video, Aspen architect Derek DeGroot looks at key shifts in culture that affect the way pastors and church leaders need to be thinking about church design and facility use. Here are four examples taken from his talk, "Is the Church You're in Today Built to Reach People in the Future":
Before we fully wind down 2016, here's one more look at our top five blogs posts from the year. We look forward to seeing you in 2017!
If you want to ignite a culture of strategic expansion, you have to build for one - literally. But buildings require time and capital. For some churches, especially those that are focused on reaching more people for Christ as quickly as possible, the thought of building new campuses or investing in permanent space seems at odds with a nimble, frugal approach to launching multiple congregations.
Where were you at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 1999? If you were like most of us, you were ringing in not only a new year, but a new millennium. You were celebrating with friends and family and perhaps watching the famous ball drop in New York’s Times Square.