Superficial changes won’t keep young people from leaving our churches

Monday, July 29, 2013

Why millennials are leaving the church
Rachel Held Evans, in an article for CNN’s Belief Blog, revisits an often discussed topic as young people (and, as Rachel points out, not only young people!) are leaving and staying away from our churches. When church leaders ask her to speak about this and she explains that the church must change if it is going to attract and hold young people, many pastors just don’t get it. They automatically assume that superficial changes, such as changing music styles or adding a coffee shop, will fix the problem.  Not so, says Rachel. “What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance. We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against. We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.”

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


  1. This article is a load of bunk. If this were the case, the liberal progressiev mainstream denominations would be doing quite well. Instead, they’re losing members faster than any others. I think we merely have a generation of superificial and self-centered bores, instread

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