Dr. Thom Rainer, president of Lifeway Christian Resources and author of the book Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation, recently blogged about “The Rise of the Religious ‘Nones.’ ” Rainer notes that “Millennials [those born between 1980 and 2000] represent the first generation in history where a majority had no religious or church background.” His thoughts greatly impact the church’s efforts to minister to this generation. Here are his thoughts:
Much of the literature of the sociology and growth of the church focuses on the broad categories of the churched and the unchurched. There have been various definitions of each of those groups. I typically define “churched” as a person who attends a church worship service at least once a month, while any others would be “unchurched.”
My definition obviously says little about the commitment level of the churched. Indeed, if a person attended church worship services only one time a month, he or she could hardly be considered a committed churchgoer.
One category of religious identification that often gets overlooked, however, is the religious “nones.” Church leaders must understand the trend of the nones, and its implication on church life in America.