In the space of about ten minutes, I was reminded of two subjects which profoundly moved Arthur Lough and awakened a fervor deep within him—contemporary Christianity and the church’s relationship to twenty-somethings, the generation which sociologists call Millennials and some Christian social analysts call Mosaics. The longer Arthur talked, the more ardent his mannerisms, the more urgent his tone.
After a brief pause, during which it seemed he thought deeply about how much more he wanted to say and in what terms, he picked up where he had left off a moment before.
“I know that we talk about the importance of the ‘formative years,'” he said, making invisible quotation marks in the air with his fingers. “That generally means childhood and adolescence. And I don’t dispute that argument. Those are crucial years, without doubt. But consider all that happens during that decade between ages twenty and thirty.
“Twenty-somethings make life-shaping decisions about education, career, marriage, finance and debt. It’s the decade during which they test their beliefs about what is real, what has meaning. And sadly, many of them are making these decisions apart from the influence of a faith community or church.”
“Why do you think that is?” I asked.
“They’ve lost confidence in the church as an institution,” he replied. “Or maybe they think of the church only as an institution and not as a community. Twenty-somethings value relationships above programs. They look for honesty and authenticity above authority and dogma.