Though I don’t have to work on Sundays because I am lucky to be married to a spouse with a good job, I can relate to this article from Baptist News Globa. My wife and I are early millennials and so narrowly avoided the worst of the effects of the recession that hit just two years or so after we graduated college. Many of my friends from grad school who were just a bit younger than me may have jobs but are nowhere near stable as they start to enter their 30s. And the secondary effects of the recession has hit all of us — we work longer hours, either to make ends meet or because companies that scaled back have asked employees to do more work than can be done in 40 hours. Church, especially in the model of the last 50 years, is frankly a hard sell to tired people who barely have the time to see their friends (who, often, do not go to church). The economy is not the only thing keeping millennials out of church, of course, as the article addresses, but it’s important to keep that in mind as we adjust to a changing landscape.
If we want millennials to make it to church (as a whole, not necessarily RBC) two things need to happen: 1) church has to matter to their lives. Why waste time on generic platitudes (all too often aimed at their LGBT friends) when there is so little time to waste? And 2) we need to address the economic realities: overworked millennials need good jobs, and increasingly, inexpensive childcare.