The older churches are being replaced by the newer, new-school ones and this is a fact.
How do we know this? Studies have shown that millennials are not as interested in church as the older generation. This does not mean they are not going at all, it just means that they are going to the churches that their parents might not relate to.
We asked some young people why they have abandoned the older churches for the newer ones and here is what they had to say.
The sermons are not engaging.
A lot of young people feel that the sermons in older churches are boring and can not be used in 2017. One person says, “older churches like Christ Apostolic Church (CAC )are just throwing Bible verses at you and telling you “Thou shalt not blah blah blah.” According to a House on The Rock member, “The sermons are more real, engaging and can be applied to the modern, day-to-day scenarios.”
A Daystar member adds, “my parent attend CAC and Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG )where the teaching is more doctrine based. I prefer my church because the teachings are based on the Bible but interpreted in a way that applies to my life. This helps me get a better understanding of the scriptures.”
The crowd is not for young people.
Young people want to go to a church where they fit. Sadly the older churches attract older people, not millennials, which is the youth have to go elsewhere. A Daystar says, “my church has younger, working professionals like myself, unlike my parents’ church that is filled with old people.”
Service is boring.
Millenials want to go to a church that offers lively music, not hymns. One new church person says, “Everything is old school, the music is boring, we just can not vibe with that.”
Older churches have too many rules.
Young people want to be free, which means they do not want to a church that puts too many restrictions on them.
A member of Enthronement Assembly says, “ladies cant wear trousers, guys cant keep their hair. I prefer newer churches like mine because they are more flexible.”
Older churches are stuck in the past.
Social media and technology are currently taking over everywhere including the church, the newer ones at least. Sadly, some older churches have not caught on, so they have no social media presence, and do not take advantage of streaming services and other wonderful benefits that tech offers. This explains why young people prefer these newer churches.
Older churches are not real.
The current trend on social media proves that the younger generation is not afraid to open up about subjects that their parents shy away from. Like their parents, a lot of older churches prefer not to discuss things like pre-marital sex, sexual temptations, depression and so on.
According to a member of The Word Church International, she likes her place of worship because they are willing to talk about these “taboo” topics instead of pretending that these things are not happening. She adds that “older people are too judgemental of the youth.”
Basically, the youth cannot relate with anything.
Unlike the previous generation that went to a certain church simply because it was a family thing, millennials want a church that they can relate with. They want a pastor that dresses like them and speaks their language. They want to belong to a church that accepts them.
Not all millennials feel this way about older churches. We were able to find two people that actually disagree with this mindset.
One of them, a member of Anglican, one of the oldest churches in Nigeria, says he prefers his church to the newer ones. He adds that he goes to his church because he wants to not because his parents force him.
In his words, “I’m Anglican by birth, but I love the mode of worship there. Worshiping God must be in a solemn manner. I don’t dig all the noise and shouting in Pentecostal churches. I feel there is a lot of theatrics in those kinds of churches.”
The second person, a RCCG memberr said he really likes his church. However, he has one complaint. According to him, he does not like is how they “hammer” on the payment of tithe. Other than that, he is okay with the church.
Moral of the story: Older churches need to do better in order to accommodate the younger generation or risk losing them forever to the newer ones.