Dear Older Christian at Church,
I hear your mouth say that you want the younger people, the people in the age group of 20-30 year olds, but I have seen that your actions prove otherwise. You see, I have witnessed how the older generation of Christian's act when they are under the leadership of a 20-30 year old. We have to jump thru hoops to prove that we have Jesus and that we have Him enough to be teaching. We have to prove that we actually grew up and aren't the little "Susie" down the road that you watch throw fits for our parents. We have to prove that we are Susan's with a calling and YOU are getting in our way. You preach that Jesus changes people but you don't practice this when you see us grow up. You remember our flaws from younger days and will not let us grow. We have to prove that our age group belongs in the church just how they are.
Do you know why you do not see 20-30 year olds in church. Because most of us do not care to jump thru your hoops so we don't. We gave up. We may not have fully gave up on God... but drifting is a powerful undercurrent that often leads us to being pretty far from God without His Body. You will blame this on us because we chose to give up on church but here is what I have noticed...
1) We can't dress to please you. Our leggings and sports jersey's seem to inappropriate for church. When some of us cannot afford $35+ jeans so yes we are living in $7 leggings. You shout that our generation has lost reverence but I think your generation has lost the ability to remember how difficult life can be as a 20-30 year old. You see, I am really close to my grandparents and they have always told me stories about the struggle of paycheck to paycheck living and the financial problems that surrounded them in the child bearing years. But we have been able to narrow down a difference. Somehow, society has made us think that we need to own a house right away, we need fancy clothes, and high costing education and so we are in debt.... some of us are on the Dave Ramsey plan and hopefully we can teach our children differently but as I listen to my Grandma talk they did with out until they had cash which is not something we are exposed to as much as we are exposed to deals like "buy now and pay later" or credit card offers.
But your looks of disgust at our outfits does not make us comfortable to come to church. We should not be expected to dress like you to be able to access the cross and join in fellowship. We should not be judged on the clothes on our backs when Jesus came to die for the sin we are holding on to. Do you dress like your parents? I do not dress like my mom. My mom does not dress like her mom. And I have heard tales that my Granny did not dress like her mom. In fact, back in Granny's day her dad would get mad at her for wearing red... I vividly remember my Granny wearing red and she even had a red slip. Her mother never wore red. Please remember that clothing changes but the need to have Jesus does not. If what we are wearing is not modest... I am pretty sure that after receiving Jesus that the Holy Spirit can be trusted to do His job and let us know we need to change our wardrobe. The Holy Spirit is a good friend of mine and He says nothing about my leggings.
2) We can't even speak before you made a judgement on our Biblical knowledge. You assume by our age that we do not know the Bible. You assume that we need taught instead of thinking that we are "fully equipped for every good work". How do I know this? Because we are a military family that changes churches often because of moves and EVERY church at least one time I hear in small groups, "Your generation doesn't even read the bible" before I have even a chance to open my mouth. So, I am going to suggest something crazy here... WAIT, to make a judgement on our Biblical knowledge until after you have had a conversation with us. WAIT, to judge our fruit until we actually give you fruit. You assume by our age what we think about same sex marriage, you assume by our age what we think about creation, and you assume that we do not care. Stop assuming and start forming relationships not opinions.
3) Change is not always the End. In the last two churches we have been blessed to be part of, we have seen that when change comes the older generation leave and go to other churches. Instead of dealing with change biblically if you don't agree, I have watched you leave the people that you said, "we are so blessed to have you here" and then the next week you have a whole new "church family". Yes, it hurt very much when one week my five year old is holding your hand at the foot of the cross and because of a change in the church the next week you are GONE. You say that you still love us but you weren't willing to fight the good fight with us so you left for an easier way. This does not help the 20-30 year olds who are hearing stories about how Jesus suffered and served but yet the very people that expect us to "act like Jesus" do not.
I could go on. But I would be writing all day long. Stop saying, "we have always done it this way". I am pretty sure Jesus heard this phrase from the Jewish leaders and yet we see Jesus dramatically change what it means to be a child of God. So, why does it surprise you that we might have a better way or that we may need to learn. Stop preventing us from putting to action what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do just because you cannot change.
Because He Lives,
A 20-30 year old Christian
P.S. I have to say, I am thankful that I have older Chrisitan's that have encouraged me instead of being like what I wrote above but I would be lying if I didn't say that I have seen and been part of the opposite from the older generation.