In one of our weekly Bible study sessions with the Association of the Covenant People there was a young man named Andrew who brought up the fact that the Millennials are leaving the churches in record numbers. I became interested in this subject because my son and daughter are Millennials, so I searched the internet and did a bit of research on the problem. I listened to talks on the subject by Gary Hewins of Community Bible Church in Highlands, North Carolina and by Matt Carter of The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas.
The age of Millennials is not strictly defined but roughly they are people born between the year 1981 and 2001. They are the largest age group in our society. They outnumber the Baby Boomers. They will influence our society more than any age group in the next few years. For the Millennials that grew up attending church, 59 percent of them have left the church or will leave the church if current trends continue. The Israel Truth movement does not have many of them either.
The following are some opinions I gathered from listening to sermons on this age group. Millennials will leave a church if they think it is boring. Many of them have read the New Testament and do not believe the churches in our western civilization are the same as the apostolic church portrayed in scripture. The Millennials in the churches want to be active. They do not want to just attend church. They want to engage society and put their talents to use. They are connected to social media and the internet in general. They are more passionate than intellectual. Millennials in general seek relationships but are frustrated by the very things they get trapped into: social media and broken families. Most of them have been misled by moral relativism and think nothing of sexual relationships outside of marriage. They are in desperate need of Jesus Christ, and if they don’t find him they will lead our society into disaster.
The Rolling Stones — Music of the fifties and sixties by various artists heightened the sexual revolution and added to the decline in previously held values.
The Baby Boomers are the next biggest age group in our society. Roughly speaking they were born between 1946 and 1964. It may be that the attitudes and beliefs of the Millennials are the result of the behaviour of the Baby Boomers. The age group between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials is Generation X. Generation X has continued and increased the sins of the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers started the sexual revolution of fornication and adultery. Many of them have had broken marriages. Under their guidance the pornography industry has grown to huge proportions. In the 60s and 70s sexual sin was injected into movies, television shows, and popular music to satisfy the lust of the Baby Boomers. While the Baby Boomers have been in control of society, homo sexual unions have become accepted. The biggest problem with the Baby Boomers has always been sex. No wonder the Millennials think nothing of living with a boyfriend or girlfriend and practicing fornication.
In the Israel Truth movement and the churches in general we must solve the problem of how to bring Millennials into our ministry. They are connected to social media and the internet. We must use those tools to talk to them. Because they seek relationships we must show them love and acceptance and not criticize them. When Millennials question our beliefs we must answer them in a calm and sincere manner and not ignore them. They need encouragement. Many of them come from broken families. They must see love in our Israel Truth groups. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35. Christian Millennials want to be active. They want to use the gifts God gave them. If they come up with new ideas for ministry we must encourage them, and if possible, help them put their ideas into practice.
Part of the challenge is to make sure we are good leaders and people the Millennials can respect. We must crucify the flesh with its lusts. We must not worship wealth and the accumulation of it. We must not give in to following sexual lust in movies, television, magazines, or the internet. We must not give in to hatred, bitterness, or judgement of other people. If we surrender to Jesus Christ, the Millennials will surrender to him too.
Editor’s Note: Many of us well remember the progressive declining values of the Baby Boomer years, although in its early emergence, some values remained strong. Yet, as the decade aged and the 1960’s came to life, the decline was rapidly in evidence; the change in music being a prime contributor. But more was to come, as Mr. MacDormand writes in his very insightful article. He points out the continuing decline from Generation X to the age of Millennials and it is significant. We hear much about the leftist movement today, how the more they influence society, society changes, slowly but surely. I asked a young lady, born in the early years of Generation X to compare what she remembers of her younger years and to compare it to the Millennial age and the years beyond that her own nineteen year-old passed through. It’s interesting to see the societal changes and contemplate whether the deterioration goes hand in hand with the Esau Dominion.
Here are just eight of the points that the young lady mentioned. She began, “As a generation X, I’ve seen a lot of changes with the Millennial generation today. In my day:
Kids would start their day in class with a morning prayer. Now, God has been removed from schools. Also, in my area, at least, there’s no more Christmas concerts. They are now called holiday concerts.
Kids were controlled by parents, now its kids that have control.
When I went to school, teachers could discipline the unruly kids and fail the ones that weren’t ready to progress to the next grade. Today teachers can’t discipline or hold a child back a grade. And we would go to school with our lunch bags and maybe a new toy we were given. Today, they might go to schools that are equipped with metal detectors and sadly, some may bring guns.
You had to practice and work at making a sporting or other type team. Now, anyone makes the team regardless. It really meant something to win a 1st 2nd or 3rd prize ribbon on sports day. But because of “fairness!” kids that aren’t athletic or as good as others now have participation ribbons. This teaches a kid that you don’t need to practice or work hard because you’ll get a ribbon just like everyone else.
At one time people had to accept responsibility for their actions. Now people blame others for their actions.
My day you had to work for things you wanted. Now it seems there’s a sense of entitlement that things should just be handed to you.
People use to stand up and call a spade a spade. Now everyone is offended, and you can be quickly labelled.
She wrote, “I could go on and on, like kids playing outside, not wanting to come in, or making some toys, like go-carts. Now, it’s being on a cell phone, watching the thousands of television programs or sitting in front of a computer surfing the web for games, etc.”
Editor-A further note: One can only wonder with astonishment what it will be like in another decade or so. It doesn’t look promising, unless more and more of these Millennials arise to mould society in a good way. As Mr. MacDormand surmises, “Christian Millennials want to be active. They want to use the gifts God gave them. If they come up with new ideas for ministry we must encourage them, and if possible, help them put their ideas into practice”.