An article written by Christian author and blogger Rachel Held Evans has gone viral, sparking a debate among Christian thinkers as to why those belonging to the millennial generation are leaving the church and what should be done about it.
In the article, which has garnered 196,000 Facebook recommendations since it was published Saturday morning on CNN's Belief Blog, the 32-year-old says she barely qualifies as a millennial because of her age, but she tends to identify with the younger generation and is often asked to speak about why those who are a part of it are leaving the church. Christian leaders, evangelical ones in particular, tend to assume that they can reach millennials by updating their church's style, she writes, but what young people are really searching for is "a change in substance."
Millennials, she suggests, want a "truce" between faith and science, churches that emphasize allegiance to God's kingdom over allegiance to a political party, to be challenged to live holy lives and for the LGBT community to feel welcome in faith communities, among other things.
"You can't hand us a latte and then go about business as usual and expect us to stick around," wrote Evans. "We're not leaving the church because we don't find the cool factor there; we're leaving the church because we don't find Jesus there."