I have this awful habit on the internet, maybe you have it too. The problem is I’m a “clicker”. I get sucked into clicking on linked articles. One moment I’ll be reading some enriching article, and suddenly I find myself reading about celebrity pop culture or the the best haircuts of 2015.

the article
Sometime last year, I “clicked” on an article on Buzzfeed that really struck me. This article was one that I thought about for days. I literally couldn’t get the story out of my mind.
The article was the memoir of a girl who found faith in her teenage years and then chose to walk away from it in her young 20’s and yet a part of her wants to go back. Personally, I shared many of the same experiences that she mentions from her teen years. I felt like it could have been my article. In fact, she got her Masters in theology because her faith was so central to her life, that she wanted to pursue it.
Yet it was in that very arena that she chose to walk away from it. In my own life, I was about two weeks from moving across the country to attend Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and take the same path, but a random series of events stopped that from happening. The point is, it could have been me. In fact, it is the story of some of my friends. But why?

millennials are turning away from god

The statistics show that 65% of them would not consider themselves to be religious. This is a huge number, but when you’re talking about a cause-driven generation, who is very focused on community, and are actually finding it both online and in person, you can see how the purpose of church would be less necessary.

But the statistics don’t end there, 32% of them say they actually don’t believe in the existence of God. 1/3 of people between the ages of 18 and 30 don’t believe that God is, that He exists, that He started it all. Worse, many are like Jessica, who at one time believed and now don’t.

why are millennials walking away from faith in droves?

In my own experience talking with millennials, reading about them, and knowing them. The reason so many are choosing to walk away from their faith is because they feel like they are only posed with the option to accept it all, every part of the church, every doctrine, every rule, and every part of the Bible OR…nothing.

They would rather choose nothing. And this is a tragedy because there is a place for them to exist.

what can we do?

As ministry leaders, what can we do? We need to remember that millennials are just people, even if they might be different and think different. We need to open our minds to how they might think, in order to be able to better engage them.

here are 3 things we know about them

1) they want community

They are often looking for community with others and they are already finding it everywhere, with their grad school peers, their yoga class, and even meetup.com.

2) they want to make a difference

Sometimes they even want to try and change the world. Changing the world is a lofty goal, but church communities are often a place where you can find people with those same types of hopes and aspirations.

If churches and millennials can agree on the cause, we might find a place where we can actually connect with them.

3) they think faith is just faith

A lot of supernatural things about faith can now be proved or explained by science. Having faith to them means something different than it did in the past. Most of them have faith in many things and this includes God.

But the reality is they’re not going to do anything about that faith unless they’re with other people challenging them to think about it on a regular basis. Encourage them to give faith a chance, even if their starting point is different than what would normally be expected.


In the studies that have been done about millennials and faith, one of the main reasons they said they’ve walked away from faith is because they felt it didn’t have anything relevant to add to their life.

So, when everything was competing for their attention, that was the thing they gave up. We all know that not every moment of church is going to inspire you, but a lot of moments are going to make you better.

reasons why millennials are walking away from their faith

Churches have to adapt to a changing culture and offer things that make people think church is valuable. – Stacia Stall


If millennials can be impacted by the life and story of Jesus Christ, if they can be inspired by His sacrifice, and His movement, then they won’t walk way. Regardless, churches have to offer something meaningful, something that makes church worth attending.


People are finding God in all types of things outside of church. Churches have to create experiences where people can find Him at church, and they also have to adapt to a changing culture and offer things that make people think church is valuable.


Many millennials feel like they’ve “been there and done that” or tried “faith” and didn’t find God but encourage them to keep looking. There is a place that’s perfect for them, they just have to hold on to enough faith until they find it.

[et_bloom_inline optin_id=optin_1]
Stacia Stall

Stacia Stall

Chief Creative Officer

Stacia has over a decade of ministry experience, with the majority of that time leading next generation change. She has experience leading almost one hundred volunteers, and developing curriculum for kids and students. Stacia has a B.S. in Church Ministries and Biblical Studies, as well as experience educating in an elementary public school environment. She is also immensely creative and accomplished in teaching children about the wonder of God.