If there’s a trend in religion and the church that preoccupies a great many people, it’s that millennials—those between the ages of 18 and 29—are leaving the church in uncomfortably high numbers. Recent surveys peg the percentage of young adult leavers at just over forty. In real numbers, that means 8 million twenty-somethings have given up on church and, in some cases, Christianity.
You could take months to study these surveys and read a bunch of books that talk about this recent phenomenon, or you could spend 90 minutes watching Grace Unplugged, the inspirational new film centered on an 18-year-old millennial who leaves the church, her family and her faith in search of a dream she hopes will bring her happiness and meaning.
Grace Unplugged tells a familiar story that resonates universally. In fact, it’s a three-act storyline that follows the classic hero’s journey: departure, initiation and return. It’s the story of the prodigal son (or in this case, the prodigal daughter), and we can all relate. Consequently, the plot is more than a little predictable with characters that border on stereotypes, but the effect is surprisingly strong, thanks to the musical talents of AJ Michalka in the lead role of Grace Trey.