The Data on “Why Millennials Don’t Attend Church”

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According to Barna, less than 8% of millennials ‘don’t attend church’ because it is “out of date.” Therefore, 9 out of 10 Millennials are not interested in how relevant or contemporary your church is.

This is from the Barna Group’s 125 page report : “Making Space for Millennials” produced in partnership with Cornerstone Knowledge Network.

Commenting on this data, Brady Shearer of prochurchtools.com remarked, “The number one reason that millennials are not attending church according to page 40, this book and the research Barna did is that millennials are saying, “I find God elsewhere.” 39% of respondents said that.” [emphasis added]

Here are my takeaways:

  • The loose “four-songs and a sermon” culture of modern churches has undermined the idea that God is found in the Church.
  • Abandoning liturgy and the sacraments among moderns has communicated that “God” is more subjective, emotional than objective, tangible.
  • Our sacramental emphasis on the Eucharist as a true participation in the reality of God’s grace is an affront to the idea: “I find God elsewhere.”
  • Therefore, we should continue to build communities around the Sacrament. Not only does the data fail to support a movement away from traditional eucharistic liturgies—but they may be the only way forward with the next generation.