Church: Can Bernie Sanders teach us something?
Life is full of lessons. If we are honest, we have to see we are losing young people in our churches. Some believe that a younger pastor will attract younger people. How then does a 74 year old politician draw young people by the thousands to his campaign?
There are all sorts of statistics about the drop-out rate of teenagers after they go to college. Just google “stats on young people leaving the church.” They vary from 70%-84%. That may seem high and may not be accurate.
But we have to ask ourselves: Why are any of them leaving?
Christianity Today did a well researched article on The Real Reasons Young Adults Drop Out of Church.
One great quote to share from that is this: “The reason that many church-attending young adults stopped going to church upon graduating from high school? Their faith just wasn’t personally meaningful to them. They did not have a first-hand faith.”
Faith was not real or relevant.
So let’s pose the question: What makes young people tick, what tugs on them that cause them to grow in their faith and see the church is real and relevant to them?
Enter Bernie Sanders.
In Iowa, “Sanders beat Hillary Clinton 84 percent to 14 percent among Democrats aged 17 to 29. He also won voters aged 30 to 44 by a 21 percentage point margin.” fivethirtyeight.com
In New Hampshire, “A CBS poll reveals that 82 percent of women in the state aged 18-29 support Sanders, while only 18 percent support Clinton.” bustle.com
Some may write this off to Sanders can’t deliver what he promises. Sure, what political does?
But why are young people, and especially young women, flocking to a socialist shepherd?
Look at two facts about our youth:
1.Young people want to be part of something bigger
Look at churches that are successfully reaching young people. What do they offer?
Look at the Bernie Sanders’ campaign. What does he offer?
A movement, where change and something bigger and better is coming.
Churches that focus on young people or have successfully grown youth groups focus on high expectations and multiplication. Terms like a Big God, Reach people, Expect more, and Watch what God will do are in their DNA.
Many of our churches have stagnated and don’t present themselves as a move of God anymore.
Think of transfer growth as another example. People want to go to church where the Spirit is moving.
Young people won’t stay in churches where we say we believe in a Big God but do nothing to back that up.
2. Young people don’t want to wait their turn
Churches must be constantly letting young people take on more responsibility. We must listen to what they think.
When church leaders act like youth are children, we will lose them when they can decide for themselves to go to church.
Even young families won’t stay if we don’t give them a place to lead.
Why should young people who love Jesus have to sit and wait?
John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
We are having a revolution among our young people in churches. We are seeing an exodus that we have to change. That’s really the point, WE have to change.
It’s not the young people’s fault. WE must “Train up a child in the way he should go.” We pastors, leaders, and older generation have to get our youth ready for a move of God.
But if we don’t expect it, then why should they stay?
I’m not endorsing Bernie’s politics, but he really can teach us something.
Keep Looking Up!
Heaven is closer than you think.
May God bless your day.
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