Invariably when meeting with people (usually more vintage in years) attempting to move the Kingdom of Jesus forward on this earth, the discussion turns to the “Millenials.” If we could just figure out how to reach, engage, extract money from and the list goes— the “Millenials”—then _____________ (you fill in the blank but it generally resembles our lives, mission, church, ministry would flourish.)
The reductionist thinking (that is code for simplistic!) so often characterizes people who are pursuing Jesus’ mission in this world. I know that is a broad condemning stroking but it keeps getting confirmed in my experience (limited, I know, certainly open to the criticism of self confirming).
In the middle 90s’ when we were starting Shoal Creek Gen X was the buzz word. Fortunately we were exposed to people who weren’t enamored with demographic speak. Instead of looking at Gen X as one homogenous group, we were able to see a business that had dissected Gen X into 9 different groups with varying interest, motivations and desires. Enlightening and invaluable to say the least, thanks Hallmark.
When you are dealing with any demographic cohort whether they are are largest in history (US speaking) they are never “all the same.” Regional geography, family of origin, economic status, educational experience to name a few impact the segmentation of this cohort.
I wish more often instead of hearing the word “Millenial, ” I heard people talk about which part of this generation they were attempting to influence. Thinking harder, longer and ultimately smarter!
I love this speech by Ed Helms, Andy Bernard of the TV show Office, at the UVA Commencement this year. He reminds us of the absurbness of talking about “Millenials.”
Have you been in a meeting where Millenials are described as “bat” like or viewed as the “savior of the world”?
Watch the whole speech here