A new common term has sprung up in our society in just very recent times - “millennial generation”. Alright, alright – the term itself isn’t new, but it seems to have sprung up recent conversations in Christian and non-Christian circles.
What is the “Millennial generation” exactly?
According to Live Science, the “Millennial generation” is defined as follows:
“The term Millennial's generally refers to the generation of people born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s. Perhaps the most commonly used birth range for this group is 1982-2000.”
It is in this specific generation, that the “reputations” of adults/young adults has been ruined.
What do I mean by this?
If we tear this “popular generation” apart, we may understand it a little better. So let’s look at the reasons one by one shall we.
Reason 1 : the “Millennial generation” is known by either the Peter Pan generation or the Boomerang generation.
Why these titles?
The reason this generation has been given the titles Peter Pan and Boomerang are for very obvious (and rather disappointing/discouraging) reasons.
Adults/young adults born from 1982-2000 are commonly known as the following:
1) They are flighty and lack stability
Like Peter Pan, they aren’t willing to grow up – nor are they (for the majority) encouraged. Which leads to the following:
- bouncing from job to job
- going from their parents house, to their own, back to their parent’s house, back to their own (I’m sure you get the picture)
2) They don’t take responsibility for their actions
Adults/young adults today always have an “out” to their responsibilities – no matter what. They aren’t encouraged to take responsibility for their own actions. One of three things happens:
1) they find the easy way out
2) they get out of “it” completely
3) their parents end up taking the responsibility.
a girl (within this specific generation) gets pregnant. She ends up either 1) giving her child up for adoption (the easy way out), 2) having an abortion (getting out of it completely), or 3) her parents tell her that they will take care of her baby so she can have her life back and have fun (their parents end up taking responsibility).
What’s the problem with the above example? (I’m not pointing fingers, just being honest and sharing my heart about this)
1. Who’s fault is it?
We could play the blame game on who’s fault it is. I mean c’mon, the blame game is common in this generation, right?
We could blame the girl for not saving herself, the guy for allowing himself to be caught up in the moment, them both for not being responsible in their actions, the parents for not teaching their children properly, God for allowing her to get pregnant, or the devil for putting the temptation before the “couple”.
Let’s pause for a moment, so I can explain something.
Who are we to blame God for bringing evil to fruition?
It is NOT God’s fault that the girl got pregnant. It’s NOT His fault that the guy couldn’t control himself. It’s NOT His fault that the parents didn’t teach their children properly.
Yes the girl got pregnant, but God didn’t allow it. The pregnancy occurred because it is a consequence from the sin that was committed. Sin has a consequence, whether it’s here in the now, or later on down the road.
However, God WILL use the pregnancy for His good and His glory. He will take the evil, and make it good. I have seen it happen, heard accounts of this happening, and know it to be TRUE.
Okay, back to the post.
So again, who’s fault is it?
It’s certainly not God’s fault, we’ve already discussed that (and the reason behind it). We could use the devil, because “he made it to where we couldn’t control ourselves”.
It’s actually the parent’s fault!
2. Why blame parents?
Just because I say that it’s the parent’s fault, doesn’t excuse the “couple” for their irresponsibility. They too are wrong, and for that they are going to face the consequences for their actions. However, if they were raised the way most young people are being raised today, they didn’t know any better.
Parents today have not raised their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. They do not encourage their children to live a life that’s set apart from society, to resist the devil and flee (see James 4:7-8), to live a life of total surrender, purity, to live their lives pleasing to God.
Instead, they want their children to experience the world, have a life they never had, have fun, express themselves, and just be “kids”. After all, kids will be kids, right?
This mindset that parents have has ruined this generation (and the generation to come!). It has ruined the “reputation”.
Parents have created young people who use the excuses:
“Well, ‘this’ is wrong with me. So I can’t hold a job.”
“I’m not going to do ‘this’ because it’s over my head.”
“I don’t like how it doesn’t affect me.”
… and other excuses.
The reputation for this specific generation has been so called “ruined” because no one expects more from them because of what their parents have instituted early on. Instead they have instituted a “me focused” mentality into young adults in this specific generation (and the generation to follow).
But have the parent’s “lack of knowledge” affected only the reputation? Absolutely not. Young people from today’s society haven’t been the only ones affected. Christian young adults have been affected as well.
Because the vast majority of the young people have set the “standard” in the generation, it makes it very hard for Christian young people to live set apart. The “standard” is now seeping into the minds of Christian young adults today, which means the possibility for affecting the world for the cause of Christ is diminishing rapidly.
Christian young adults are leaving the faith, quitting church, and giving up on the cause of Christ due to the mentality parents have instituted.
In Christian families you have parents who want their children to live better than they did. They want their children to live differently than the world – pleasing God and attempting to live a holy life.
Now don’t get me wrong, that is totally awesome! I am totally all for that, however, what parents don’t realize is that their children don’t attempt to search out their own faith. They are simply living the way they’ve been raised, because “Mom and Dad says this the only way to live life.”
They never get to experience the freedom that comes with living out their own faith.
They are never able to fully understand the underlying reason behind some convictions.
They don’t understand the danger in living out the faith of their parents.
The majority of parents today, don’t bother encouraging their children to search out their own faith.
Let me ask a question to any parents reading this post:
“What’s the reason behind not allowing your children search out their own faith? Is it because you’re afraid they may make the same mistakes you have made in your past? Is it because you’re concerned they will play with the evils of this world? Do you bother telling them why you have instituted certain convictions in your household?”
If the answers to those questions were “yes”, then let me ease your mind and help you understand the mindset of a child.
“Don’t be so quick to withhold the reasons behind certain convictions within your household/family. It makes a difference when you tell your children why you dress a certain way, why they won’t be allowed to ‘date’, why you don’t say certain words. Instead of saying ‘because we said so’ or ‘because that’s what we’ve decided, deal with it’, explain the why behind the convictions. It makes it easier when they start to search out their own faith.Allowing your children to search out their own faith, is the best thing that you (as a parent) can do. As a child who was allowed to search out her own faith, I can say it has truly helped me discover who I am in Christ and as an individual.If you have raised your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, all you have to do is guide, direct, and pray that your children see the Biblical way and the good in how you’ve raised them. They cannot always have training wheels in use, the training wheels need to come off eventually. And with taking the ‘training wheels’ off, comes the fact that you need to be willing to pick them up when they fall. You need to be willing to withhold scolding if they make a fumble. You need to be encouraging in second chances. I wish I could say that your children searching out their own faith, will result in no worldliness coming in. I speak from experience, searching out their own faith will mean that they will try to include some of the world, but make it godly.Not allowing them to search out their own faith may result in your children backsliding, leaving the faith completely, giving up on church, etc. They may take a drastic leap the other direction and start living their life in a way that will be hard for you to accept as a parent. You may find yourself hard to love your own child because of their drastic lifestyle change.However, if you allow them to search out their own faith while they’re living under your protection, they will find that they have a place of refuge when they make a fumble. They will find that they can come to you in regards to differing beliefs and opinions. They will see that you trust them to make their own decisions in life, which will encourage them to step above the ‘standard’ in the “Millennial generation” has set. Instead of hindering them, you’re encouraging them to grow.Don’t hesitate in allowing your children to search and grow in their own faith.”
Why are young people leaving the faith and giving up on church?
My theory is as follows:
“Because young aren’t able to seek out their own faith within the safety of their parents home, they are like a bird trapped in a cage. They are being too sheltered, wanting to spread their wings of faith (and when they do spread, the wings are clipped). They begin to realize that they don’t believe the same way as their parents, but as they continue to hear their parents bash other denominations, they decide to keep quiet. The pastor of their church decides to get the advice from the young people within his church. Advice on how to include young people more, to make church greater, to reach out to the young people within the community, and just to get a fresh perspective. When the advice is given, the pastor pushes it to the wayside, because “they’re only kids”. So they decide that they don’t want any part of church, because they aren’t being looked upon as the decision making young adults they truly are.However, their actions begin to change, because God is growing their faith anyways. Their eyes are being open to the legalism within their own church, within their family, within their friendship circles, etc. So when it comes time to be on their own, they jump at the chance as quickly as possible. Leaving behind what they know faith to be. Why? Because – why be a part of such a legalistic, constricting “faith”? They can do just as great in life with out being constricted, without all the legalism, condemnation, etc. So they leave the faith. Do they give up on church? No of course not, they have to go to church, because they have to be there every time the doors are open, and they are called to not forsake the gathering of believers. So they have not only left the faith, but have also left church. They no longer want religion, and quit reading their Bible, give up on their passionate prayer life, etc. They decide to denounce God and live like a child of the world, and not of God.”
What is wrong with this?
Again, let’s tear this apart and see the flaws within the mindset of all this.
1. The young people weren’t able to seek out their own faith.
- I’ve already discussed the importance of seeking out your own faith (just scroll up a bit and read if you can’t remember)
- The “wings of faith” should never be clipped or constricted. They should be allowed to spread out to their full capacity, full length, ever growing.
- If young people realize that they don’t exactly believe the same way as the denomination that they were raised in, it’s not a hill to die on. We all are called to walk in faith, but everyone’s walk is different. If they aren’t involved in cults, or drastically diverse religions, they are fine. Let God grow them to be who He created them to be.
2. The young people aren’t looked at as the person they truly are.
- It’s a pastor’s job to encourage the young people within his church congregation to be more than they think they are.
- If a pastor wants a fresh perspective, and asks for the advice from young people – then he needs to be willing to listen and use discernment in heeding it.
- The young people need to be encouraged to serve within their church, and it’s the pastor’s job to institute this. If the pastor sees that there are young men that are students of the Word, might he encourage them to preach a sermon? If it’s known that there are young women who are gifted in discipling young women, might he encourage them to start a girl’s Bible study group? It’s the pastor’s job to reach out and encourage the next generation to step above the common standard that the world has set.
Once young people are seen for who God has made them to be, what they’re capable of, and are recognized for their God-given talents/gifts – the young people will feel the urge to stay and serve in the Kingdom.
However, there is one major problem with this specific generation (and I stated it a while back). This generation is very me focused.
You hear today:
“Well I left the church because I didn’t like the fact that the church didn’t do anything for me.”
“I don’t do church because it just wants my money.”
“Church isn’t what I need.”
Okay, I’m going to brutally honest, and just plain blunt.
It’s NOT about you!
It’s not about what church does for you, but what you can do for the church.
Ask yourself the following three questions:
How can you effectively serve within the church, and advance the Kingdom?
How much are you willing to give monetary wise, in order to advance the Kingdom? The poor woman gave everything she had, and she was incredibly blessed! (see Mark 12:42-44)
What if you are what the church needs?
I would like to point out two examples of selfless people that serve the church on a regular basis.
he isn’t (or shouldn’t be) there for himself. He’s there to be the mouth piece for God.
they aren’t there for themselves. They are there to offer spiritual and moral support for the pastor. They help him make church decisions and help keep him accountable.
Yes, they enjoy the position in which they serve and there’s nothing wrong with that. The important thing to remember is this: they are there to serve God, not themselves.
Church isn’t about serving you, but about you serving the church.
With all that said, how can we put an end to this “popular trend”?
As young people within this generation, we need to show the world that we have stepped above the common standard. Yes it will be hard – but think of the rewards.
We will become radical in our faith, not our parent’s.
We will reach the next generation and set a new standard for them.
We will learn to have a servant’s heart, and grow in our God-given talents.
When we make the decision to “debunk” this worldview, we are silently saying:
“We’ve had enough of the inadequacy, and are more than what you claim we are. It’s time to show you who God has made us to be!”
Who’s ready to step above the common standard, set a new standard, and debunk this worldview?