Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Millennials and CME Church, Millennials Missing in Church, Methodist and Millennials
Nelson, Albritton, "Reconnecting Black Christian Methodist Millennials to the Church" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3270.
Like other denominations today, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) is missing the millennial generation in attendance and activity. The elders of the church genuinely believe that the millennial generation will continue to decline to attend and decrease their membership and the numbers of the church. Some feel that tradition may be the blame because the church refuses to change its ways. Others believe that there’s a lack of vision to understand where the church is going. No matter the reasons for the decline, changes are needed to ensure the health and resilience of the CME Church if it is to survive. A qualitative analysis methodology was employed to examine the status of the CME Church and the declining church membership, particularly among the Millennial generation. The primary objective of this research was to gain insight into how Millennials perceive the church, their pastors, and church leadership, as well as insight into how pastors perceive Millennials. These insights were then used to develop recommendations for the different groups involved that were designed to improve and enhance intergenerational relationships, which can revitalize the church. Based on the data collected in this study, it became apparent that traditional CME values and the values of the younger generation have created tension, particularly in the areas of leadership, worship styles, priorities, and the concept of accountability. These intergenerational disconnects have had a significant effect on church stability and the declining trend in attendance and participation by the Millennials. The data collected in this study provided unique insight into the characteristics of Millennials, church pastors, and the church leadership, all of whom could influence one another and the direction of the church. The Millennials expressed a desire to be included in church decisions and help to develop a message that provides for their interests. The insights into these three groups revealed an organizational framework, which was then employed to identify potential action items related to each group.