Millennials often get a bad rap. Whether it’s political assertiveness, well-groomed facial hair, or up-trending decades-old style, the generations before us don’t quite know how to relate to us.
I am a Millennial, and if you’re between the ages of 22 and 37 so are you! If you’re using the same ministry tactics that the church has used for years and years, then your frustration will only grow as less and less young people come to your church or study.
If you’re older than we are, and you want to know how to get us to a Bible study or small group, sit up and pay attention.
We’re Tech Savy
We’ll say we hate technology. We’ll feel we’re a slave to our phone. We’ll develop carpal tunnel syndrome from typing and arthritis of the thumbs from texting. But when it comes to communicating with us, it’s all about technology.
Apps, short video media, virtual groups, social media, the sky is the limit. PowerPoints are the presentations of yesterday. Give us video clips, 1-minute testimonies, and interactive studies! Give us the websites that actually work! Give us social media that is social! Give us sermon notes via email! Set up a texting service for church announcements!
Family is everything. Whether we’re close with our born family or not, our immediate family unit is paramount. It’s not just our family that’s important, but it’s also vital that we see that family is important to you. Family activities and programs are great. Childcare during adult small groups is even better! If our family isn’t as important to you as it is to us, we will find another place to spend our time.
We’re tired of participation ribbons. We work very hard and we want something out of it. No, we’re not looking for recognition. We want to achieve something. Help us to help others, achieve a goal we’ve been dreaming of, or fulfill a dream or promise. When we can look back on a ministry effort, campaign, project, season, year and see a job well-done, we are fulfilled. We want nothing more to help the groups we’re associated with achieve satisfying results as well.
We’re Team Players
We can work on our own, but we prefer to work as a team. We can compete, yes, but we also love to root on our peers. Let’s organize a team to work on an outreach project, paint a mural in the children’s classrooms at church, raise funds, or rake leaves for the elderly. We don’t want to feel like anyone person is running the show! We can feel like team players if the leadership is effective at communicating and involving the whole group.
We Crave Attention
We don’t want to admit it and we don’t like it, but we crave attention. We want you to know our name and it’s a bonus if you also know what we do for a living. Craving attention cannot be confused with being the center of attention. Recognition is important, especially to let us know our ministry efforts, participation, and attendance is valued. Attention has a bad rap. Invite us out as a friend, give us a call, or show up to our kids’ soccer game.
We Tend to Job-Hop
While we are in your group or church we will be all in. We’ll bring our friends, haul our family to events, and contribute time and money as much as possible. However, we will quickly move on if it’s not a great fit or if there is a better opportunity elsewhere. This isn’t just the church, but schools, jobs, and other organizations. If we don’t feel valued, if we are not happy, and if we don’t feel our time there makes a difference, we will move on.
Who We Are, What We Do
Every quirky thing we do makes up who we are as individuals and as a group. Older generations have confused the teenagers at the mall with the Millennials running for public office and launching startups. We are not children. We have children. We are successful, buying our first homes, working our dream jobs, caring for our aging parents. We’re earning college degrees, learning trades, doing volunteer work, starting nonprofits. We have a lot going on! In order to get us to a group or event, it has to align with what we’re trying to do and who we are.