A Big Task!

The first book I read in 2014 was The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation (B&H Publishing). It’s by the father/son team of Thom and Jess Rainer. In my mind, it’s a must-read for people in ministry.

Their research is based on extensive interviews done with twelve hundred Millennials. That term refers to people born in the United States between 1980 and 2000, and there are 78 million in that category. The Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) totaled 76 million.

There are many reasons to feel good about the people in this group who are now between the ages of 15 and 35. For example, the Boomers supposedly said “don’t trust anyone over 30”; that’s the exact opposite of what Millennials feel. They have a great respect for those who are older. They are also on track to becoming the most educated generation, and, for the most part, they aren’t focusing on self as much as on how they can make a difference in the world.

But the figure that got to me the most was their overall lack of interest in religious matters. Nearly 2/3 (65%) rarely or never attend religious services. Only a small portion is truly Christian (10-15%). An amazing 78% agree that American churches are irrelevant today, and so on.

If the church can’t somehow capture this age group, it will have a profound effect on the future. The big question is how to pull this off.

My personal conviction is that we who are older don’t have a clue as to how. The only way to come up with viable answers is through dialogue with Millennials.

I have begun to do this in a most serious manner. I believe that everyone in ministry needs to do this as well. What I’m learning is not at all that comfortable. (Example: Millennials are not as crazy about lecture [preaching] as they are about dialogue. Wow!)

Anyway—I’m listening and trying not to react. Are you?


Please click here to visit David Mains’ Sermon-Coach.com website.

You will also find a variety of resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries website. Please click here.

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