What pains me is the defensive reactions of (typically older) generations that have said: “What are we going to do about those darn millennials?” That have talked at us more than talked with us.
Julia Powers is a freelance writer and communications specialist based in Dallas, Texas. She loves staying involved at church and discussing all things practical theology. You can find her online at www.juliapowersblog.com.
“Because of writers like Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber who speak about things like “faith unraveled” and “accidental saints.” The campus minister who reminded me often of the saying “unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials, and love overall.” The pastor who met me in a moment of struggle, ordered us drinks, rolled up his sleeves, and gave my worries a heartfelt hearing. The lady at the conference last week who was there solely to “understand her children’s generation” and spent the lunch hour in dialogue with me about our differences and similarities.
I’m convinced that, when institutions hurt, individuals can help. That when institutions very nearly drive us away, individuals can very kindly draw us close. For God’s sake, let’s be those individuals.”
A few points from her response:
- Her appreciation for writers like Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber may come because both women often speak to disillusionment towards the church and embrace Millennial values like diversity and authenticity.
- Her appreciation of incarnational ministry style of a pastor.
- The encouragement that she received from being heard and understood by someone not from her generation.
- Her skepticism toward institutions.
These traits are common among Millennials, and should be taken seriously by those seeking to minister to young adults.
Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.