There was an op-ed piece on one of the news websites last week written by a millennial “none” (meaning she claims no religion when asked) who still wants Easter. The reason: “We are, many of us nonreligious millennials, still on the hunt for something fundamentally human: community, connection, devotion. Something like church, without the church part.” I was initially quite offended, but the more I read, the more I realized that the church needs to be there, even for those who don’t believe what we believe – in fact, maybe more for those “nones” than for those of us who identify ourselves as “Christian”.
We have a great deal to offer those who can’t quite find their way to faith and belief. In our safe spaces, our sanctuaries, anyone who needs companionship, healing, grace, mercy, friendship or fellowship should be welcomed to sit down and take a load off. Even those who text while worshipping, bring their books to church, fall asleep during the sermon or just plain let their minds wander as they take in the scenery inside our beautiful buildings ought to feel perfectly welcome to do just that. Because I know something they don’t. It’s a beautiful secret. There is something that happens when we offer worship to God in the setting of the church that is life-changing and transformative, even to the most resistant “none” out there.
The stained glass windows tell a story. The wall-hangings tell a story. The music tells a story. The scriptures speak a story that is hard not to contemplate. Prayers tell stories. And no matter how resistant someone might be, there is a moment in every worship service when a nerve is struck – a part of the story gets stuck in the brain and refuses to be left alone.
So, come on in Millennial none, or Baby-boomer none, or Gen X none….. come on in and have some coffee, conversation, community, connection and devotion time. But be warned, your life may be changed in ways you have never expected or desired. God still speaks, even to you!