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Show Them Your Scars: Kirk Franklin on Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church

Kirk Franklin AP 2
Kirk Franklin AP 2

While many have attempted to solve the issue surrounding millennials and faith, singer Kirk Franklin believes he know why young people are leaving the church.

In a post to Instagram Franklin writes, "One of the reasons why I feel millennials are leaving the Church is because we showed them our scriptures without showing them our scars.”

That post has garnered more than 40,000 likes and hundreds of comments.

One commenter wrote, “They show scriptures and don’t live by example.”

Another wrote, “No no. I left church because I got tired of hearing pastors condemn homosexuality like premarital sex wasn't banned in the same chapter. How trifling do you have to be to pretend like you aren't sinning yourself? I'll never give up on God, but I'm done with pastors for a while.”

According to a 2015 Pew Research study, 35% of adult Millennials (Americans born between 1981 and 1996) are religiously unaffiliated or “nones.”

That isn’t to say they don’t believe in God, they just do not affiliate with the church.  

According to Pew, years of research have shown the younger generation always tended to be less religious than the previous generation.

For example, Gen-Xers are less religiously affiliated than Baby Boomers and so forth.

However, the difference with millennials is “increasing significantly.”

Pastors and faith leaders have suggested a myriad of reasons why millennials are shunning the church.

Some have concluded it to be a negative influence from a cultural glorification of agnosticism, an influence from liberal places of education or simply a desire to shun anything deemed “intolerant.”

However,  it could also come down to a question of authenticity.

In a post titled, 10 Reasons Millennials Are Backing Away from God, author Dr. Alex McFarland lists several reasons young people are turning away. 

Among them he states the “lack of spiritual authenticity among adults.”  

“Many youth have had no or very limited exposure to adult role models who know what they believe, why they believe it, and are committed to consistently living it out,” he writes.

In an article posted to Exponential, Pastor Tony Ranvestel, at Clear River Church in Lafayette, Indiana, writes, “Young adults are used to Photoshop. They want reality TV. They want to see real people and what they go through. The building we’re in is an old auto body shop. It’s kind of ‘janky. But it feels real. We try to do this with our teaching too, being authentic,” he stated.



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