New Post at CNN + Top ‘Millennial’ Responses + What the heck just happened?

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

So that was weird….

Last week I wrote a post for the CNN Belief Blog about millennials and the Church focusing on how church leaders hoping to win twenty-somethings over with coffee shops and concerts may want to go  a little deeper and consider substance over style. 

I’ve written another one today entitled “Why Millennials Need the Church” 

The first post originally had a less ambitious title, something like, “For Millennials, Church Is More About Substance Than Style.”   I wasn’t trying to write a manifesto or speak for a generation or exhaustively examine the causes of declining church attendance among twenty-something; just speak from experience with some surveys for support. 

The post started quite the conversation online, generating hundreds of responses and a bunch of Facebook shares. Which is great. This is an important conversation to have. Many of these responses were insightful, honest, and wise, even when they were critical. I’ve shared some of my favorites below

Of course, as more and more posts rolled in, the main point of the original post seemed to get a bit lost in the shuffle, and before long I hardly recognized the shallow, entitled church-hating know-it-all many assumed me to be.  

Those who know me well know I’m only that way on Tuesdays. 

But such is the case with “viral” posts. There’s no sense in trying to control the message once it’s out.  

Anyway, those of you who have been reading me for many years know I don’t hate the Church and that my posts usually suffer from being too long rather than too short. Today’s article is much more reflective of that. It highlights seven reasons we need the Church, each corresponding loosely with a sacrament. 

If you’re not sick of the topic already, you might want to check out these responses as well: 

A Reluctant Millennial on the State of the Church by Meghan Florian 

A Conversational Way Forward: Responding to the Exodus of Millennials From Our Churches by Christopher Smith 

Millennial Canaries by John Hawthorne 

Rachel and Brett, You’re Both Wrong by Jonathan Fitzgerald 

Why We Left the Church (assembled by Micah Murray)

Trayvon Doesn’t Go to Your Church by Tyler Tully

Millennials and Leaving Church: Really? by Scot McKnight

Why are millennials leaving the church? Try Atheism by Hemant Mehta


So what the heck just happened? Why do you think the response to that post was so varied and intense?  Feel free to share links to your own posts on the topic. 


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