Recent studies reveal overwhelmingly negative perceptions of Christianity among the Millennial generation (those ages 18 – 34), matched with a precipitous drop-off in our generation’s identification with Christianity and the Church.
In short: Christianity in America is broken; it is rapidly losing our generation.
Some in the evangelical world find these trends alarming. Struggling to stay relevant, they fear they are losing our generation for good; that we’re too “post-modern”, too “progressive” and too inclined to play fast-and-loose with “biblical truth”.
Meanwhile, many in the mainstream media still get hung-up on old narratives about what it means to be “Christian” in America. The bogey-men of the “Religious Right” still dominate popular culture’s imagination of what the evangelical world is all about. Pat Robertson, John Hagee and James Dobson are still the icons of the movement.
In reality, our generation defies both of these stereotypes. We’re deeply spiritual, but deeply cynical about institutionalized religion. We’re committed champions for important social causes, but reject the co-optation of our faith to serve a particular political agenda. We believe that God is neither a Democrat nor a Republican.
Moreover, for us, poverty, war, disease, violence and environmental degradation are not just negative forces to fight, or ideas to grapple with; they have names and faces.
“Christianity in America is broken; it is rapidly losing our generation.”
Chris LaTondresse, Founder & CEO, Recovering Evangelical
Our generation’s tutors are child-soldiers in Uganda, girls rescued from sex-slavery in Thailand and homeless youth living in the crumbling remains of America’s inner-cities. Our primary classrooms are Brazilian favelas, rural villages in Kenya and bombed-out neighborhoods in Gaza. These people aren’t our causes. They’re our friends.
For these reasons and more, we’re turned-off when faith becomes a bludgeon used to condemn those outside of our tribe. We think the world needs fewer culture warriors and more peacemakers, reconcilers and bridge builders.
We believe in loving others and pursuing authentic relationships that cross barriers of race, religion, ethnicity, gender and class. We aspire to these virtues as an imperfect expression of God’s love, compassion and justice.
The aim of Recovering Evangelical is simple. Our movement represents a growing number of young evangelicals, post-evangelicals, and others in our generation who resonate with the transformational vision of Jesus of Nazareth, and who—together—are committed to bringing American Christianity into greater alignment with this vision.
We invite you to join the conversation. You have a unique perspective. You have a voice waiting to be heard. This movement belongs to you.
Our goal is to offer you both a platform and a community, amplifying your voice and connecting you to other thought-leaders, practitioners, bloggers and citizen journalists from our generation who collectively aspire to create a “new normal” within American Christianity. Together, we will begin Recovering Evangelical.
What’s your dream for our generation? Where do you think Christianity has most gone off-course? Which vision of Christianity do you hope owns the future? Please leave a comment below.
With hope for a better future, rooted in the love, compassion and justice of Jesus,
Chris LaTondresse | Founder and CEO, Recovering Evangelical