Dear Church: A Letter from a Twenty-Something Young Professional

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Dear Church,

Thank you for noticing that there was a lack of programming for twenty-somethings in your (little ‘c’) church. Thank you for rising to the challenge and creating a group for post-college adults, or singles, or young professionals, or “emerge,” or whatever you’ve decided to call that thing.

I say that without an ounce of sarcasm.

But here’s where it gets tricky, because do you know what I want? What I’m really hungry for?

It’s not meeting in an abandoned warehouse you rented, or the basement of the coolest club, or some space in your building where you repurposed and installed Edison bulbs and hooked a record player up to the sound system. It’s not throwing the word “authentic” around as many times as grammar will allow in all its various forms. (Seriously, stop it.)

It’s people.

I want the people.

Do you know how easy it is for me to live my life day-in and day-out without anyone knowing how I’m doing? How I’m really doing?

And sometimes I don’t even know how long its been, because I’m so used to it.

I can sit down at some brewery where you host your pub theology event, but discussing what may be wrong in the church in light of politics doesn’t let me know where you’re at in your soul and it sure as hell doesn’t do anything for that ache in my chest to be known and accepted.

Because you want to know what millennials want?

It’s the same thing you want! Love, acceptance, understanding, knowing they are not out alone in the darkness, that there are people there to catch them when it feels like they might spin off in the oblivion.

We just want to know that what feels like the end of the world right now is not.

We want a place at the grown-up table and a stake in the conversation that Jesus started two thousand years ago.

We want you to know that we could care so much if you’d just give us permission to care!

It’s not about how your building looks or how up-to-the-minute your band is. It’s about what it’s always been about! Caring about people.

I’m really bad at this! I’ll be the first to admit it. It takes time and vulnerability and sometimes the people that are available to you aren’t the people you’d like to share your life with. But God put the people in front of us that he did for a reason.

And, maybe, Church, God has placed young adults in front of you for a reason. Not just so you could create an over-grown youth group for them, but so you could ask them how life is going and really listen. And maybe so they could ask you the same question and you could tell them honestly in return.

Because we just want to know that someone cares enough to be honest with us. We just want someone out there to know how we’re doing—how we’re really doing. And to not be afraid to share themselves in that way too.

So again, thank you for creating a space for us in your programming. But can we have a space in your life?

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