As I visit parishes from the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions over the next year or so for my new book project, I'm noticing that they all missing 18-35ish-year-olds. It's fascinating and makes me chuckle a bit when I read Calvinistic evangelicals with all these "__________ Reasons Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church" blah, blah posts. What makes me chuckle a bit is that the non-evangelical traditions often have the very thing that conservative evangelicals assume to explain why young people are leaving their respective traditions--and vice versa. For example, Catholics are saying that young people need more CCM-ish praise music, conservative Baptists are are saying that young people want more"traditional" worship, etc.
I'm most fascinated by the fact that (from the evangelical side) that church leaders listen to self-proclaimed gurus (who blog A LOT) who truly believe that they posses the omnicompetence to discern divine mysteries. What if the church catholic is not supposed to figure this out in 3-9 "top reasons?" What if the point is for the church catholic to remain faithful to her primary calling and like Providence and Sovereignty sort out the numbers and "growth projections." I've been thinking about this recently: Twenty years ago, I remember sitting in on "growth projection" meetings in the PCA as if we were at a business sales meeting. What were we doing? Isn't a bit presumptuous to chart what the Holy Spirit is going to do in the future? Just an observation. . . .