Why All Your Millennial Stereotypes Might Be Wrong

Here is an interesting article and video discussing the stereotypes of Millennials, and how the delayed development of their generation – may not be entirely their fault.

Consider the millennial, America’s enigmatic under-35-year-old adult, and a few standard tropes come to mind: slacker, living in parent’s basement, obsessed with Snapchat.millennial-stereotypes

But there’s plenty that’s still unknowable about the generation, simply because the economy has been so awful for most of their lives. The behavior we’ve come to associate with the group is deeply informed by the 2008 financial crisis, and traits that seem to define them now—living at home, for example—are likely more a product of financial duress than ingrained tendencies.

Here is the complete article and video discussion.

For a complete list of causes of the delayed development among adolescents, here are some resources.

 

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources – a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to engage emerging adults.  He is also the founder of the EA Network – a community of people who serve and love emerging adults.

The Millennial Exodus – Caleb’s Story

(This is part of a series written by Millennials who have either left or stuck with the church.  If you are a Millennial and would like to submit your work for publication, you will earn $100.  Here is the link.  To read more stories by Millennials search Millennial Exodus.  If you would like to fund our research among emerging adults, click here.)

Here is Caleb’s story.

I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember.  My first childhood memories are of vacation bible school and Sunday family lunches.  The church has been a part of me since I was born, and its presence in my life grew and grew throughout the years.  I experienced the Holy Spirit countless times during my youth years at church camp and on mission trips, but after I graduated high school, my faith took a turn for the worse.

Make no mistake; during my first year of college I was still a Christian, but even I knew that I was lukewarm at best.  I stopped attending church, and with that decision, my faith began to slip away from me.  After almost an entire year of ignoring God, I knew I had to take action.

I found a group of Christians student through a local campus ministry who put God first and helped me regain my relationship with God.  I immediately felt overwhelmed by the sincerity and generosity these believers displayed to me.  As I began to involve myself with this community, I built strong and faithful friendships.  This change of community also led me to devote more of my time and energy to my faith.

I stuck with the church because when I lived my life without it, I hated what I saw.

My desires were earthly, my relationships were shallow, and my spirit was starved.  In retrospect, I understood how truly lonely and apathetic I felt without the body of Christ.  I had taken for granted the bond of Christian fellowship which I enjoyed my entire childhood.  This fellowship displayed through the sincere relationships and genuine kindness of a church family drew me back into the arms of my Father. 

After almost two years, I thank God for allowing me to know His presence is in my life, and for accepting me back into His loving family.  I pray that if I come upon someone going through the same struggles, that I can provide the help others so graciously provided to me.

caleb-norris-writerCaleb Norris is a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a major in business management.  Caleb was born and raised in Winchester, Tennessee and is the oldest of three children.  In his spare time, Caleb enjoys reading, fishing, and playing guitar.  Please pray for Caleb as he continues his walk with Christ throughout his life.

 

 

Preaching to your Adult Child – Here is Their Perspective.

Image from page 336 of "The history of Methodism" (1902) from Flickr via Wylio

© 1902 Internet Archive Book Images, Flickr | PD | via Wylio

If you are a parent, then there are times when your child feels as if you are preaching at them.  If you don’t know your favorite topics, just ask them (if you are brave).

This article written by an emerging adult explains the thought process for your child as you discuss issues that you don’t agree upon – including faith.  While this article may not reflect the relationship between you and your child, there is much for parents to learn from this writer’s perspective.

Within five minutes of starting the hour-long car ride, she asked me if I wanted to explain my theological beliefs to her.

Awkward.

At this point, I had three options…

Read the entire article – HERE.

I wanted to summarize the points, but found too much that I wanted my readers to see and feel.  But I do want to highlight the author’s main conclusion:

I ask ‘when the preaching will end’ because with conservatives I consistently feel that I am being preached at by people who don’t care to understand me as a person, while with liberals I feel that I am becoming a part of a movement which is built on compassion and mutual understanding.

Within our homes, churches, and the public square – communication is key.  

Most Christians ignore the role of the Holy Spirit, and focus on conversion tactics when speaking with those outside the church – including their children.  Dialogue and diversity are welcome in today’s culture, but when someone in a conversation feels the need to be right – it will turn people from the beauty of the gospel.

This author is a follower of Jesus who was raised in an evangelical home.  Unfortunately, this emerging adult found the “extra baggage” of present-day Evangelical culture (which I use to refer to anything not required by the original tenants of the movement) to be completely overpowering to their spiritual journey.  I believe that some emerging adults find these beliefs so restrictive that they abandon the faith completely.

Related Links:

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources – a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to engage emerging adults.  He is also the founder of the EA Network – a community of people who serve and love emerging adults.

 

 

You are not alone – A Bible Study for Parents of Young Adults

 

I had the privilege of meeting with Corey Magstadt who runs a ministry to serve young adults in the community of Chaska, Minnesota.  Corey seeks to minister to emerging adults and their parents through his Launch ministry.  After years of running support groups for parents, he wrote a resource called, “You are Not Alone.”

Image result for you are not alone book corey magstadtParenting emerging adults while rewarding is sometimes a difficult job.  Parents often feel isolated because their words might embarrass either themselves or their adult children.  This is especially true in the church where parents often feel as if they have failed.  Corey writes, “Sadly, our churches often forget that one of the primary roles of the body of Christ is to be a hospital for sick and broken people.”

A desperate need exists for safe places for parents to share their experiences.  Corey envisions small groups that meet on a regular basis to share a part of this journey. I believe that groups could be led by churches, educational institutions, non-profits, or other social organizations who have a passion for emerging adults and their parents.

The book includes a discussion guide for each lesson.  Each week begins in a similar fashion including time for each individual to share.  Then a different topic is discussed revolving around the specific needs of emerging adults and the transition of their role as parents.   A Facilitator’s Guide is available which provides practical advice to launching your own group.  It includes supplemental information for each of the 12 sessions.

Corey is the founder of Launch Ministry, a faith-based non-profit organization established to expose emerging adults between 18-25 years old to opportunities that will promote healthy, productive transitions into adulthood.  Launch Ministry assists young people in a holistic transition by providing them with tools to develop life skills, opportunities to lead and serve, and by promoting spiritual and character formation.  Corey lives in Cologne, MN with his wife Lori, and their children.

You can purchase You are not alone–  Particpant’s Guide here.

You can purchase You are not alone- Facilatator’s Guide here.

What Comes After for-Profit Colleges’ ‘Lehman Moment’? Possibly an Education Crash

Image result for end of collegeJust as the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008 heralded a much larger economic crash, the September shuttering of the ITT Technical Institute chain of for-profit colleges signals a broad crisis in higher education. 

Read the entire here.

Highlights:

  • Since 2000, overall educational outcomes have fallen while debt and student defaults have risen. And for-profits have become ground zero for the student-debt crisis, representing roughly 75% of the increase in student defaults.
  • The $1.2 trillion student-debt bubble represents a much smaller part of the consumer-credit market than housing did on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis.
  • only a quarter of first-year college students can predict their own debt loads within 10% accuracy.
  • While it’s true that a degree ensures something more than a $15-an-hour future for most graduates, it’s no longer a ticket to higher social mobility for the poorest Americans. Many end up in second-or third-tier colleges, going into debt for dubious degrees.
  • In ITT’s case, the government may write off loans for current students. Though aimed this time at the right people, this new bailout could end up costing taxpayers $500 million, according to private student lender Sallie Mae.

Other articles that might interest you:

Could young adults impact their denomination? Is it Possible?

I hope that the answer is yes.  I understand that the leadership boards of almost every single denomination in America is filled with babyboomers who have “earned their stripes” and “understand the real world.”  I understand the challenges that young men and women face before being heard in the church. (Read more – here.)

If we want to change the Millennial Exodus, then we need to address the problem at every level.

  • There is a need to minister to the individual needs of emerging adults.
  • There is a need to provide resources and training to church leadership to reach and minister to emerging adults.
  • There is a need for denominations to lead the way through allowing young adults to speak up and speak out.

Here is a story of one group who is seeking to bring transformation to their denomination.

I recently interviewed Mark Hilbelink, who leads a group of people who have named themselves YALT – which stands for Young Adult Leadership Taskforce.  YALT serves within the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.  The YALT team originally formed under the Leadership Development Department of the denomination, but now has become its own entity.

Image result for Mark Hilbelink

Mark Hilbelink

The leadership of YALT are not paid by denomination, but the denomination provides paid staff support for the movement.  The team is composed by various pastors and bloggers who want to influence the denomination (For example – Hilbelink pastors a church in Texas).

When the team originally formed, they planned events and conferences, but found that this was an expensive, and ineffective way to impact their denomination.  More recently, YALT has focused on their on-line presence.  You can find their Facebook profile and a website.

As for their impact within the denomination, Mark states that he believes that YALT seeks to get people on board with the mission to reach young adults, and through influencing denominational events.

Mark is often asked why Millennials are leaving the church, but Mark believes (like myself), that there is not a singular reason why Millennials are leaving.  He believes that their lack of attachment to the local church is due to their life phase.  Millennials are transient which makes it difficult to connect with community.  He believes that what overall truly attracts Millennials is not a hip church, but one that is healthy.

Mark shares that sometimes church leadership “uses us [the YALT team] to keep Millennials, but not to bring change to our church.”  Marks believes that while the church may not need to change its doctrine or practices, change is needed in order to stay relevant in today’s world.

If you have an interest in launching a group to influence your denomination, EA Resources can help.  Contact us at gdavid@earesources.org.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing director of EA Resources.  He is also the founder of the EA Network, a Network that seeks to equip the parents and churches to meet the needs of emerging adults.

The changing face of U.S. higher education – from the Gates Foundation

Although Thien Chau and Danyelle Parrish were born worlds apart—Chau in Vietnam and Parrish just outside of New Orleans—they have arrived at similar places in their education. Both students don’t fit traditional categories of college-goers, and demonstrate how today’s colleges and universities need to adapt to fit the needs of learners with various backgrounds and needs.

Read the entire article here.

Final_Draft_TCS

From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Here are some key points:

  • Diversity is now a fact of life in U.S. postsecondary education. There are more students of color, first-generation students, full-time workers, students from low-income backgrounds and those who must balance studies with parenting.
  • The academic world can be a maze for students with no parents or siblings to provide guidance from past experience.
  • A significant percentage of students return to school years later to seek a credential or degree. And nationwide, an estimated 28 percent of full-time students at four-year degree programs have children.

What does this mean for those who minister to emerging adults both on college campuses – and off?

Campus and church ministries who cater to the “traditional” college student, may need to broaden their vision to reach those who do not fit the mold.

If you want to become essential to their lives, provide emerging adults with vocational and educational guidance and resources.

The world is changing, and we must change and adapt if we are to successfully met the needs of emerging adults.  If we can help your community understand emerging adults, contact us at gdavid@earesources.org.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit that seeks to equip parents and churches to meet the needs of emerging adults.

 

From Washington Post – To attract young people to your church, you’ve got to be warm. Not cool.

I am thankful for the work and research that is happening at Fuller Youth Institute.  Here is an article promoting their up-coming book – Growing Young.  It is written by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder and Brad Griffin.

For our book “Growing Young,” we researched more than 250 congregations. When we spoke to more than 1,300 young churchgoers, ages 15 to 29, they told us what they want: authenticity and connection.

When we analyzed the terms that young adults used to describe the churches or parishes that they chose, we noticed repeated words:welcoming, accepting, belonging, authentic, hospitable and caring. We began to call this the “warmth cluster.”

Read the entire article here.

Young people sing and pray at Together 2016, a Christian revival in July on the Mall in Washington. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

 

If you have a heart for ministering to the needs of emerging adults, you should stay connected to what is happening at the Fuller Youth Institute.

I only have one comment about the article, and it is the picture which I assume was not picked by the authors.  Large Christian events are not what I would classify as the “Warm” sought out by the authors, but from my perspective would fall under the “Cool” method of doing ministry.

5 Important Talks to have with your High School Grad – from Huffington Post

There is so much that you want to say to your child in those final last days before dropping them off on campus.  When the time arrives, some parents respond by going into a last-minute cram session with their child while others are so overwhelmed with their own thoughts and emotions that they are left speechless.

  • What should you say?
  • What do you NOT say?

Here is an article from the Huffington Post that can equip parents for making sure that they have addressed some of the important issues.

The five conversations listed by Dr. Gail Gross are…

1.  Drugs and Alcohol

2.  Sex

3.  Consequences

4.  Money

5. Your support

If you want an article on any of these topics, click the link.

 

 

 

From Faith & Leadership — Teen’s online church draws young people from around the world

By Joely Johnson Mork, freelance writer and contributor at Faith & Leadership, a publication of Duke Divinity School

“Like many teenagers, Daniel Herron, 16, of Tacoma, Washington, has a busy life. He’s a member of the Sea Scouts, the nautical branch of the Boy Scouts of America. He serves on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Board, helping to award thousands of dollars to local organizations. He’s active in his high school’s Bible study group.

And he’s also the founder and pastor of an online church that has attracted more than 4,500 members. Not a “pretend” or “make-believe” church, but a real — albeit virtual — church where teenagers from across the country and around the world gather to worship, pray and connect with one another.

Known as The Robloxian Christians, or TRC, this nontraditional congregation has important lessons for those who lead traditional churches and church institutions, theologians and youth ministers say.”

Click here for full article — it’s worth the read!

Included are a few reflection questions regarding the nature of an online church, definitions of church, the needs of young people, and the abilities of young people:

  • What does The Robloxian Christians tell us about the capacity of young people for imaginative leadership in the church?
  • What spiritual and faith formation needs of young people is TRC meeting that “real world” churches are not?
  • How do “bricks and mortar” church experiences inform the practices of The Robloxian Christians? Why are “brick and mortar” churches still an important part of Daniel and other members’ lives?
  • Is TRC a “real” church? What makes a church “real”? What are the essentials of church?
  • Are the children and youth in your church agents of ministry, or objects of ministry? What is the difference?
  • How can your church provide a safe space for unchurched people to ask questions and have dialogue?

Let us know what you think!