America is changing.
Millennials are less religiously afiliated than ever before. Churches are just one of many institutional casualties of the internet age, in which young people are both more globally connected and more locally isolated than ever before.
Against this bleak backdrop, a hopeful landscape is emerging. Millennials are flocking to a host of new organizations that deepen community in ways that are powerful, surprising, and perhaps even religious.
After two years of noticing this happen, we’re sharing our findings in order to start a conversation. Primarily, we’re speaking to three groups of people:
- Those leading the organizations mentioned in this report and others like them
- Those interested in supporting such organizations and their growth
- Those interested in America’s changing religious landscape
There are dozens of organizations from which we could choose to illustrate what’s happening. We’ve chosen ten. Each epitomizes a combination of six themes that we see again and again:
These organizations have a shared ethos. To try to understand it, we map out their ancestry, sibling projects, and cousins in corporate America. Lastly, because we care about the eficacy and longevity of this work, we close the report with a few considerations for the organizations and others invested in their success:
- Who are we serving?
- How are we leading?
- What about God?
We hope that these organizations begin to see themselves as part of a broader cultural shift toward deeper community. By consciously coming together, we think they could form the DNA of a fruitful movement for personal spiritual growth and social transformation. We invite you to join us in considering how millennials are changing the way we gather.
This is an excerpt from the report How We Gather, written by Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile; it is republished here with permission. Read the full report here.