Since I wrote the first part of this article back in August, I have been thinking and praying about the Millennial generation. Given their size (bigger than the Baby Boomer generation, and by some accounts around three times that of Generation X, their immediately preceding generation); there can be no doubt of the significant impact they will have on American society, values, culture and beliefs.
I wrote about their views on religion, church attendance and beliefs to some extent in Part One. I have no new ground to cover, no new thoughts on those issues in general.
However, as I reflect on the Millennial generation, one thought keeps popping up at me from some of the research I have read. This generation is clearly less attached to political and religious institutions than their preceding couple of generations, and less likely to form affiliations with them.
A Millennial will also treat all their assets (money, time, and network) of equal value. A Millennial is less likely to trust people (only 19% of Millennials feel most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people, compared to 40% of Boomers).
It is interesting to think about how they value their time in the context of wariness in trusting people. Time isn’t money as much as time and money are equally valuable. Remember that when engaging in conversation, you have to make that conversation count from the very onset.
But these Millennials are clearly connected to their networks of family, friends, acquaintances, peers and colleagues through a vast array of social media. They clearly seek peer affirmation; they are clearly influenced by peer behavior and decisions. The key factor is that the Millennial generation is very relationship driven.
So, are there any pre-millennial Millennials? Yes there are, and I believe there can be many more as we move forward. What we need to focus on is that we serve a very personal God; our Lord wishes to have a personal relationship with each and every one of us. God the Father would have all turn to Jesus Christ as Savior, that none would be lost. Our Lord would hold us all in a grasp that none could pry us from. The key to reaching a Millennial is Jesus Christ. In other words, the Millennial generation is no different than any generation for the past 2000 years. The key, yet again—is Jesus Christ!
In the very personal nature of God, is the heart of how to reach this huge generation that seeks to be relationship driven. I mentioned in the last post of the need to engage with the Millennial generation where they communicate—the vast array of social media networks.
The network of a Millennial is an asset as valuable to them as time or money. But how we engage is very important. There can be no bold frontal assaults along the lines of eschatological doctrine, prophetic foreshadowing of impending judgment or growing persecution of Christians within the United States. (At least not as an opening salvo in the battle for the souls of the Millennial generation.)
We must draw into conversation and engage with Millennials, focusing on the very personal nature of Jesus Christ and His desire to build a personal relationship with each and every Millennial that walks the earth. Yes, Jesus should be shown to Millennials as the Son of God and Savior, but also as the divine networker. He seeks as Lord of all to have the ultimate network. A network that any Millennial would be thrilled to have as his or her own.
And that network they can have, if they engage with Jesus as their Savior, if they trust in Him alone as their only hope of eternal salvation. If we show them how they can network into the family we all belong to as the Body of Christ, the teachings of eschatology and prophecy can follow as the relationship between Him and them, and between us and them, through and in Christ, deepens.
How unique, we need to approach in a Christ centered way (irony), showing Him to be the core of our lives (truth), inviting each and every Millennial we know to have Him as the core of their lives as well (love and caring). We can show the Millennial generation that spending time with us can be a rich and rewarding way to gain true peace of mind and security of life everlasting.
We can do this, if we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us in engagement and conversation. We should do this for we have been commanded to go and make disciples. We need do this today, for Jesus is coming soon!
Rafter Cross Ministries