Kirk Franklin believes he knows one reason why millennials are leaving the Church.
The 47-year-old gospel music artist, songwriter and executive who heads the Fo Yo Soul record label is currently co-headlining The Rebel The Soul & The Saint tour along with soul singer Ledisi. This week, he spoke about an issue he feels is driving many millennials away from houses of worship.
"One of the reasons why I feel millennials are leaving the Church is because we showed them our scriptures without showing them our scars," Franklin wrote on Instagram.
Franklin's fellow gospel music artist James Fortune backed his industry peer's statement by writing, "I agree" in his comment section.
The problem of millennials leaving the Church has been a topic of conversation for several years.
In 2015, a Pew Research Center poll found that fewer than six in 10 millennials identify with Christianity. David Cox, PRRI's director of research, supported those claims when he told The Christian Post last year that an estimated 39 percent of young adults between the ages of 18–29 identify themselves as nones, or religiously unaffiliated.
Kierra Sheard, a 30-year-old gospel singer, clothing designer and blogger, previously shared Franklin's sentiments in an interview with The Christian Post. She emphasized that transparency within the Church can enable younger generations to feel less judged.
"I think in the Church we have to be transparent. We have to be open because at the end of the day we're still questioning mothers on the front row who have five kids from five different men [but] we're not going to ask them [about it]," she said. "We're discussing it among ourselves, [saying], 'Well she knows about the nasty. She knows what I'm struggling with because she's been with five different men, but she's the mother of the church.'"
Apologist Alex McFarland, co-author of Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home,previously spoke to The Christian Post about another reason why young adults could be pulling away from the Church. According to McFarland, broken families are partially responsible for millennials leaving the Church.
He added, however, that genuine love and relationships could change things.
"We have to love people, build relationships, cultivate that trust, honesty and respect even if they never come to Christ," McFarland said. "But the more our culture has drifted from any acknowledgment of a Christian foundation, the more you have to build a trust, a respectful relationship before you begin to even hope to share any content."