The UMC has recently been experiencing some rough patches division partially stemming from it’s position on same sex attracted clergy in ministry and other LGBT issues, and the dynamic growth in more consertive countries outside of the US. While the UMC is leading in the headlines, it isn’t the only mainline Protestant denomination experiencing a decline in young adults entering the ministry. I answered the call to preach at the age of 12, was licensed to preach at 16, ordained in a local Baptist church at 20, re-obligated to the Itinerant ministry in the AME Church at 22.
While many millenial young adults are leaving the church and identifying as nones, the ones who are retaining their membership are not seeking leadership roles in ministry. I am not sure what can be done to change this trend, but the universal church must engage young adults by allowing them to share their gifts and ideas to local faith communities and perhaps we will see more entering ministry and church leadership.