As one millennial speaking on behalf of The Millennial Generation I have to say from my perspective my generation is hungry for deep, authentic, real relationships. The Millennial Generation is considered those born from around early 1980’s to the 2000’s. There are many ways to reach this Millennial Generation and we must if we long to see the advancement of God’s kingdom being passed down. Here are 5 ways to reach Millenials:
1. Understand Millenials. It seems simple enough but I believe when you understand where this generation is coming from it will grow your compassion to reach them. Did you know that as of 2012 only 19% of Millenials said that others could be trusted? Why? I believe it’s because this is a generation that has experienced divorced families at an alarming high rate. They have experienced an alarming rate of sexual, physical, and mental abuse as well as bullying, depression, and suicide. So next time you ask yourself why Millenials aren’t wanting to get involved or why they want to hide behind their Facebook Wall remember that this is a generation full of broken people unsure who can be trusted and afraid to be hurt. Yet also remember this is a generation desperate for meaningful relationships and therefore a generation hungry for a relationship with God.
2. Have Hope For Millenials. When you say all Millenials are like such and such remember you may be speaking to a Millennial. I’ve experienced this myself and it makes me feel lumped into a category and that can be frustrating to be generalized into a mold when there is so much more to you individually. So I encourage you, some of those characterizations may be true, but have hope for our generation and encourage us that we can be culture changers and that we are not defined by when we were born but defined by our relationship with God.
3. Use Social Media. Yes, I admit, a lot of the Millennial Generation does have Facebook, and Twitter, and Snapchat but I encourage you Social Media can be used to build trust and genuine relationships. Use Facebook as a tool to build trust. Like their pictures, reply to their posts, and send them a message. What that shows is that you are invested in their lives and to what matters to them. Build that trust and then use it to build relationships in person by inviting them to Starbucks and letting your friendship build deeper from there.
4. Disciple Millenials. As much as this generation is hurt and broken by relationships they are also searching and seeking for something deeper. Discipleship can be a great place of growth and healing. Be a safe person to show them relationships can be lasting. Be consistent, even if they aren’t, and show them you aren’t going to back out on them. I believe selfies are so big in this generation because of the desire for encouragement and someone to show them worth. What better worth than showing them their life significance in Christ.
5. Pray for Millenials. The Finishers by Roger Hershey proclaims that this generation could be the generation to complete God’s mission of reaching the world for Christ! As we pray for God to use this generation, and as we build into this generation, God in his grace, is going to use this generation to be world changers. Just because our culture came up with the term and generalization of “Millenials” doesn’t mean that is who we are. I’d beg to differ and say this is The Missional Generation and I have seen the fruit not only in my life but the life of others that shows the passion our generation has; and with the redeeming hand of God we are The Missional Generation!
Hope McCleary graduated from Mesa State College with a degree in Mass Communications. After graduating she spent two years working in local news at KKCO 11 News in Grand Junction, Co. She decided to give up her career in the media to share the message of Christ full-time. She joined full-time staff with Master Plan Ministries the summer of 2012 and got married to Forrest McCleary in September of 2012. Through her own personal ups and downs in college Hope has a heart for college women understand their worth as God’s daughters, to see them grow in their faith, to grow in the unique gifts God has given them, and to stand firm in their faith even with the pressures of the world all around them. Hope’s interests include world and local missions, photography, singing, playing guitar and writing music, reading, meeting new people, coffee, and hiking.
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