(Photo: The Christian Post)
WOODBRIDGE, Va.— Millennials are leaving the Church because they not being given a "cause," said youth ministry leader Greg Stier.
"I feel like one of the reasons why Millennials are leaving the church is because Millennials are causal. They want a cause," said Stier, who's leading the "Reverse" conference tour. "Generally speaking, the Church has failed to give them a cause. Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 says 'Go and make disciples of all nations;' 'I'll give you a cause.'"
Stier, head of Dare 2 Share Ministries, is currently touring the country to equip thousands of youth to preach the Gospel. His latest stop was in the Washington, D.C. area, where he spoke to The Christian Post about Millennials.
According to a recently released Barna study, only one in five Millennials considered church to have any importance in their lives.
Another recent survey, performed by Pew Research, found that 29 percent of Millennials classify themselves as "religiously unaffiliated."
In both studies, the Millennial generation was found to consider church less important and more likely to identify as "religiously unaffiliated" than older demographics.
Stier told CP that he believed the Church needs to regain "the cause of Christ, to go and make disciples." If they do so, said Stier, then churches "will attract more Millennials and every age demographic."
"The Church has morphed; instead of a mission we've turned into just a series of meetings and I think teenagers are looking for more than that," said the youth ministry head.
The "Reverse" tour kicked off in January. The theme "Reverse" is inspired by Daniel of the Old Testament. Speakers are encouraging youth to "stand when others bow, speak up when others shut up, kneel when others run away . . . to change the world!"
Stier said he felt events like Reverse help to counteract the rising trend among Millennials regarding church and religious affiliation.
"What I see here are students ignited when they start to realize 'man, I have a purpose and I have a mission and that is to share the Good News,'" said Stier.
"Find significance in the mission of Christ, find security in the Person of Christ and when we do that, I think we will reignite this next generation."
An estimated 3,000 people from youth groups across the Washington, D.C. area attended Reverse Friday and Saturday to hear speakers, see drama skits, and participate in contemporary worship. Attendees were encouraged to share thoughts and photos on social media with #D2SReverse and to follow the Twitter handles of the speakers.
For the opening Saturday morning session, attendees heard speaker Zane Black teach about the experiences of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Babylonian captivity.
They also heard Los Angeles based artist and speaker Propaganda talk about the dangers of social media addiction and the need to form relationships with people offline.
Regarding the atmosphere at Hylton Memorial, Stier told CP that the turnout was "great" and that "it feels like a sellout in there."
"What's cool is it's an event that [is], I think, multi-denomination, it's multiracial, it's all about the cause of the Gospel of Christ," said Stier.