Asher Witmer

rediscovering Jesus

FREE E-COURSE: Overcome Frustrations with Church and Live Vibrantly for Christ


Do you ever struggle to know how to reconcile the weaknesses in the church culture you grew up in with the strengths of other church cultures you’re getting to know, now?

For instance, I grew up Anabaptist. If you don’t know what that is, check this out for a brief explanation. But one of the obvious differences between Anabaptists and other denominations of Christian churches is that Anabaptist women practice the head covering as taught in 1 Corinthians 11. It may be a white bonnet-style covering, a black flowing veil, a scarf, or something else. But almost all the ladies in traditional Anabaptist churches cover their hair in some way.

Problems arise, however, when churches require women to wear the head covering if they want to become members. Even though it is biblical, is it necessary to tie this practice with church membership? For people who never wore a head covering, much less for those who never attended church, this can be a huge jump in lifestyle. Is it right to ask this of new converts who want to plug into a community of people and grow deeper in Christ?

In observing the millennial generation, I see millennial Anabaptists responding to this question in three different ways. Yes, I am generalizing. There are other ways people respond. But for the most part, Anabaptist millennials find themselves in one of the following:

  1. Exposed and departed. These people have discovered other vibrant Christians who don’t practice everything their Anabaptist churches do, such as the head covering. They don’t require external lifestyle changes to become members. And even more disconcerting, these Christians are giving them more life and being more effective in making disciples. So, they decide to leave. They feel their church is dead and has nothing of lasting value to offer them. They’re out the door, and better off for it.
  2. Not yet exposed. These people don’t have any issues with their current church. They don’t see anything wrong. But neither have they interacted much with Christians of other backgrounds. And by interact, I mean they have not had conversations about spiritual things with anyone who isn’t from Anabaptist background and has no interest in becoming Anabaptist. They are okay with their church simply because they haven’t experienced anything else.
  3. Exposed, committed, but held back. These people got exposure to other vibrant groups of Christians. They see weaknesses in their Anabaptist churches. But they also see Truth in their upbringing. They want to be effective in making disciples without compromising on Truth. Only, they feel held back in their current situation. For whatever reason—tradition, church structure, peers, personal fears, or current leadership—they can’t grow in deeper maturity and vibrancy with Christ and they find themselves frustrated.

If you find yourself in the third category of millennial, you’re not alone. These observations go beyond Anabaptist churches. I see a group of millennials of various backgrounds who feel stuck in their current church. They want more. They don’t want to rebel. But they feel held back and unable to be as fruitful as Christ calls us to be.

I have just put together a three-part e-course on how to overcome frustrations with Church and live vibrant for Christ. You don’t want to roll over dead and conform to the status quo. But neither do you want to respond compulsively without sorting things through and clarifying the issues and what is most important.

Through a series of three posts, you will discover (1) where you need to focus if you want to help bring change, (2) what we get wrong about community and how to “be of one mind” with those in your church, (3) and how you can be a person not held back by religion, but free to live vibrant for Christ.

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