How Can I Connect with Millennials?
Every generation possesses unique characteristics that have been shaped by historical, cultural and technological developments, as well as by their reaction to previous generations. This is why we have Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and the youngest members of the workforce and the daring breed of entrepreneurs, the Millennials (also known as Gen Y). (The youngest generation at present is called the Gen Z.)
These differences in generational characteristics often poses a challenge to parents and children, employers and employees, who are on each side of an invisible border. How then do we cross boundaries? If we want to minister to todays movers and shakers, how do we connect with Millennials?
As we think about what works with Millennials, it also gives us insight into what every generation needs from us.
Authenticity. Todays no-nonsense generation will not respond to anything less than authenticity. Every generation is looking for truth. A famous speaker once said that Authenticity is…letting our true selves be seen. How? By being truthful about our imperfections – weaknesses, struggles, temptations, failure and sin; emotions – fears, anger and pain.
When Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Mt. 9:12), it was an invitation for anyone who acknowledges his spiritual poverty to come to God just as he is. The first place we acknowledge the truth about ourselves is before God.
Even as we admit our imperfections, we can also be truthful as well about our joys, faith, hope and victories — and as believers, our Source of all these. We can be genuine about our intentions to share Christ arising from a heart of love.
ACTION POINT: If you were to be truthful about your heart, what would you admit before God right now? If you were to be more truthful about yourself before others, what would you admit to them?
Relevance. To be relevant does not necessarily mean we wear the same clothes Millennials do or own the latest trending gadget. To be relevant means to be able to speak the truth. When we are authentic, we admit that we are flawed and far from perfect, and that we need God. Any person can relate with that, Millennial or not. The good news is that Jesus came to forgive us, save us, make us new, and grant our hearts deepest desires. That is the truth, and is relevant news for any age.
ACTION POINT: Look up some of these verses: Matthew 11:28-29; Jeremiah 31:3; John 10:10, 28-29; Colossians 1:13-14, 2:3-14;. Which of these is relevant to you at present and why?
Read and meditate on the Word of God daily, applying it in your life. Journal the lessons you are learning. How is the portion of Scripture you read today relevant to your needs and your situation?
Have you learned something you feel is relevant to someone you’re reaching out to? Share it today.
Vulnerability. Some see vulnerability as a weakness: when we are exposed, we feel prone to attacks. But if we are in a journey in which we are finding love, forgiveness, hope, acceptance and victory in Christ, then our vulnerability becomes a showcase of God’s strength. For in Jesus words of comfort to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” To which Paul concluded, “…when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
ACTION POINT: If you are hesitant to connect with others, entrust to God your fear of vulnerability. Then pray about sharing your journey of faith this week, beginning with one person. Remember, Millennials, just as others are, are looking for truth. Share your life and God’s truth today.
Father, thank You for inviting me to come to You as I am, and for the promises of Your Word. It helps me to admit my weaknesses, ask You for help and be authentic to others. I pray that not only will todays generation see me, but all the more so, may they see You and the power of Your presence in my life. In doing so, may people feel free to approach you as they are. May You use me today to connect with someone in need of a personal relationship with You. In Jesus name. Amen.