Rachel Evans of the Washington Post argues in her article “Want millennials back in the pews? Stop trying to make church ‘cool.’”, that attempts to make church cooler by many religious institutions of today, are driving millennials away. Church attendance by millennials has steadily decreased over the years, causing many churches to take business-like approaches to attracting back followers.
In her op-ed, Evans questions the effectiveness of these methods. Evans suggests that these tactics being used to help draw millennials back into church, have actually caused a bigger decrease in attendance. Research supports these claims, as Barna Group and the Cornerstone Knowledge Network have found that 67 percent of millennials prefer “traditional” churches to “trendy” churches. Further research shows that 77 percent of millennials choose a “sanctuary” formatted church over an “auditorium” formatted church.
This article shines a spotlight on the commercialization of today’s religious institutions, as many churches now have marketing campaigns, merchandise, and prize sweepstakes. Statistically speaking, the decline of church attendance by millennials is hard to dispute. And while the commercialization of religious institutions may be a cause of this, suggesting it to be the primary or only reason for this trend is premature. Commercializing religious institutions can be the cause of many conflicts of interest, and may possibly be the cause of a declining number of millennial visitors. But in today’s world, a world of instantly accessible information and computers.
Does the way the church reaches out to younger generations need to evolve with the times? Would you prefer the traditional and simple church or rather it be more modern and updated to todays world?
Evans, Rachel. “Want Millennials Back in the Pews? Stop Trying to Make Church ‘cool.'” The Washington Post. WP Company, 30 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.