I had a great time recently learning from David Kinnaman at a conference hosted by National Community Church in Washington D.C. Kinnaman (@davidkinnaman on Twitter) is president of Barna Group www.barna.org and author of unchristian and You Lost Me www.youlostmebook.org. Of course, National Community Church www.theaterchurch.com is the multi-site church pastored by Mark Batterson www.markbatterson.com and his latest book is The Circle Maker www.thecirclemaker.com. Are those enough links for you?
Kinnaman has done major research on the generation alternately called “Mosaic” “Millennials” and “Gen Y” depending on who is doing the talking. This is the generation that is coming into adulthood. Everyone these days wants to know what makes this generation tick. Marketers are constantly trying to figure out how to get their attention, colleges want their money, and churches are wondering where they are. Kinnaman’s first book unchristian focused on those young people on the outside of the church. You Lost Me is more about those young people who have left the church.
He began his talk by saying “It’s complicated” (an obvious reference to Facebook postings on relationship by many young people). His point is that the world is a complicated place, and the church isn’t helping them navigate through this complexity. He made the comment “We’ve given them just enough Jesus to get them bored, but not enough to get them transformed.” In the survey of 18-29 year olds with a Christian background, they found that 59% of them have dropped out of church, 38% have significantly doubted their faith, and 32% had considered rejecting their parent’s faith.
I’ll share more from Kinnaman in upcoming posts.