Lately, it seems the Millennials are getting all the attention. There has been a ton of articles, blogs, and books written on this group of people (those born between 1984-2000). In my experience, a 15 year old is a massively different person than a 30 year old, so I’m going to go ahead a project at some point, common literature will even end up dividing this Millennial group.
In my time as a pastor, my heart burns (hurts?) for this generation. There’s much to be said, but for me, it’s simply a matter of without them, there is no future. Specifically, no future church. Let me offer your three ways I wish everyone in their 20s would be the church.
1. Be less cynical
If I have to read another article about why this next generation despises the church, I might vomit. Not that any of it isn’t valid. It is. Many things I have felt about the church over the years. However, one of the things I learned quickly in my 20s was that it’s really easy to be cynical. It’s so easy to lob cheap (and oftentimes valid) complaints against the church.
But who wants easy? Instead…
2. Be a contributor
Instead of being cynical, the best way to make a difference and change things is to contribute. If you aren’t in the game and actively involved, then your cynicism is just going to blacken and harden a heart able to make a difference.
Recently, I read a book called Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans. It is a book that has become a rallying cry for the Millennials who are disenchanted with the church. As was the author, Evans. What I loved was that she tried to contribute. She even has written further posts asking others to be less cynical.
The problem: People in their 20s can find it easy to nod their heads in agreement with cynical complaints and yet fail to take it a step further and try to do something about it. Get in the game. Get involved. Be a contributor.
3. Honor and learn from those who’ve come before you
It’s easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Gosh, if our parents did that, it must be terrible. But more often than not, the decisions the previous generation made to build the church were the right, God-honoring decisions. Honor the past. Honor those who’ve gone before you. Learn from them. Even though what they might be wanting to do now will no longer work, that doesn’t mean we can’t honor and learn from the legacy of others.
Millennials, you are NOW. Don’t wait. Be the Church that God wants to build through YOU.