Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It's all about #millennials. No, really.

Yesterday, a super awesome editorial cartoon was put out by CNN Opinion entitled, "The generation we love to dump on."  I'll pause here so you can follow the link and go check it out.

Really.  You should.

Do it now.

Done?  Good.  I'm my humble opinion, and this is from an earlier Millennial (verging on Buster territory), this thing is legit.  And there are mountains of data to support it, just go check out anything that the Barna group has put out for the church lately.

My favorite part of this cartoon though isn't the cartoon itself, it's reading the comments below.  Comments that are disturbingly ignorant from older generations.

And the best part?  These comments from older generations are undoubtedly similar to the comments that those generations received from their parental generations.  Generational commentary passed down through the generations.

There's very little commentary on what the millennial generation could be doing for the world if given the chance.  I see myself in my personal context in the church as a bridge builder.  As a hyper-creative (a defining characteristic of this generation) that understands traditional church systems, but still gets frustrated by them, I see it as my job to bridge those of my generation and younger into life in the church.  Even though that itself can be quite frustrating, there's nothing more worth the frustration.

I read articles like this and I actually get excited about the possibilities - what can the church do with this generation?  What changes can the church make to give room to a highly creative generation who isn't motivated because there isn't room for creativity?  What can the church do for a generation that's encouraged to take on debt after debt after debt to pay for schooling that we're told is necessary and then is extremely condescended to when there aren't jobs available?

Where is the church in the career discernment process?  Where's the church when we're graduating high schoolers and college students without the basic life skills to keep it together, much less a faith that will last through the craziness of young adulthood?

What are the most common descriptors for the millennial generation from the generations before us?  Entitled and lazy.  Which begs the question - who taught us that?  You can't blame the millennial generation for taking on these characteristics when they're given no influence on the systems that they're raised in.

We have a tendency to focus on the negative.  So I'll say this -
Millennials are more passionate than they look.
Millennials want to change the world, but aren't given the resources.
Millennials would rather use their creativity for the good, rather than write blogs like this or create fun cartoons about being a millennial.
And before you say that they don't want to work hard for their money, try being a barista at Starbucks, or working at Taco Bell.

I won't lie.  This is kind of an emotional field for me.  So much so, that I made it my job in the church.

Discuss.  Let me have it if you need too!  But think: what could the church be doing differently to help the younger generations change the world?

Do you have an idea?  Make it happen.