Rogue Millennials? Disciples for Christ? Anti-Establishment yet Pro-Church? Huh?
Why “rogue”? We grew up hearing preachers and believers say, “There are no loners in Christianity.” It is true we need each other; Christianity is about relationship with God and entering into His family, the Church. Yet the quote is misleading – because what people mean is, “You can’t be a Christian if you aren’t a member of a church business.” Millennials have by and large gone “rogue” from organized religion in general and institutionalized churches specifically – establishment Christianity. We’re proud to be labeled rogues by the establishment and proud to be anti-establishment because we believe there are better ways to do church that don’t include the institutional trappings.
Why Millennials? Our writers are Millennials – we re-envision what “church” could be and hope to be a voice for Millennials, by Millennials, about Millennials. Walking in Christ, learning his values, and studying the founding of his church often give us a shocking contrast with what we see in American churches. Our Sunday morning businesses are not what church looked like when the Church was founded and is not what church looks like in much of the world today. Millennials are learning to live out Church in person 24/7/365. Church means so much more than a 2-hour social club for songs and sermons; it’s a daily practice, a spiritual discipline, an attitude we carry with us all week.
But “Rogue” is just our relation to an establishment. And “Millennials” is just a label about when we were born. These are hardly our identity. Our identity is given to us by Christ. He created us, chose us, made us his kin, gifted us and gives us tasks. Each of us have an identity from God, something establishment churches often overlook. Each of us has a personal ministry – a sphere of influence, relationships, gifts, experiences. Being “in Christ” means he’s offered us an identity in contrast with those the world would offer, and we said yes.
So we are more than Rogue Millennials – we are disciples for Christ, striving to grow and find truth and learn from others. We love to read, hear others, do research; we love God’s Scriptures and having his guidance in life. Who better to disciple us than Jesus? We look at “churches” and often feel ashamed to call ourselves part of them. But we look at Jesus and say, “I still want to be just like THAT guy – and He loved the Church, no matter how ugly she gets expressed some days.” So here we are. Rogue Millennial Disciples for Christ who follow the Lord’s footsteps even if they walk away from the church establishment – Jesus was one who went Rogue from the religious establishment in his day too.
We do “Church” in all sorts of ways that rebel against establishment Christianity but hold faithful to what Christ and His earliest followers valued, taught, and launched. We are pro-Church even though we’re not too keen on churches. The Church universal (capital “C”) is something we can all value and engage and partake in, even when local church businesses (lower case “c”) let us down.
Expect this blog to go everywhere you were told not to go. We invite you to doubt. We invite you to re-envision what church could be in your own life and in your congregation’s life. We’ll look at serious criticisms of church, abuses resulting in what many churches have become in America and Western Civilization. We’ll revisit how the Church started and what it looks like elsewhere in the world, as we take Scripture seriously and share personal stories along the way. Expect guest contributors who walk the faith in their own lives while harboring doubts about the Sunday morning institutions that fail to appeal to Millennials. Expect us to be real even when it’s messy. Church can be better than what it has become. And we’ll lead the way in reforming her. Why? Because Millennials aren’t just the future of the church. We are its present.
Picture: La Mision in Guatemala serving a jungle village with help from Millennial young adults – the beauty of church done anywhere with anyone at anytime.