May 2019
Millennials and the Church

Editor's Letter May 2019

Dear Friends,

As a group, millennials may be one of the most stereotyped and misunderstood generations. As a millennial myself, I know this to be painfully true. There is a strange dichotomy in the perception of millennials in church life – people have unwavering opinions about millennials, what they respond to and what will bring them to church, while simultaneously mourning the disappearance of young people from church life.

Who are millennials? And what do they think of church? We thought it best that millennials answer those questions.

In this issue (and the next!) we bring you articles written solely by millennials. In their voices we will hear their experience, and what they view as challenges and opportunities in the church.

How can we create an authentic faith experience for millennials? In Authenticity and Community, Adriane Bilous explores the qualities this generation is drawn to: vulnerability, acceptance of imperfections and creating community.

Reaching millennials, bringing them into church life and retaining them is something many congregations have struggled with. In Engaging Millennials, Jason Merritt shares ideas on how to listen, learn and be present to build trust and have fruitful relationships with this frequently stereotyped group.

People often have strong opinions about what they believe millennials care (or not) about. In Millennial Mythbusters: Church Edition, Alissa Anderson dispels some common myths and shares truths about millennials and their life in church.

Why is it important to place millennials in positions of leadership and decision-making in our church? In Millennials in Leadership, Nicole Foster, Colin Chapman and Hershey Mallette Stephens share the challenges of their generation and why we need more voices like theirs to strengthen and invigorate our church and future.

In A Young Person in a Young Church, Nelson Serrano narrates his experience of the Episcopal Church as a millennial in Colombia, telling us how a church that values the young becomes youthful and vibrant in its ideas and actions. This article is available in English and Spanish.

ECF Vital Practices offers vestry members and other congregational leaders, resources and tools to respond to the changing needs of the Church. As the Vital Practices team discerns what to highlight and share in our monthly Vestry Papers and other related content, your input as regular readers is extremely valuable. Please help us by filling in this short survey so we can continue to tailor ECF Vital Practices to your needs.

Through May and June, we will also be featuring numerous blogs by millennials – follow along here. If you’re a millennial in the church and want to share your story, reach out to us.

To learn more about ECF and our programs, please visit our website.


Charis Bhagianathan
Editor, ECF Vital Practices

This article is part of the May 2019 Vestry Papers issue on Millennials and the Church