A cursory review of contemporary marketing indicates that advertisers are targeting Millennials by linking their products to experiences. But does this cause anxiety for Millennials who begin to feel like they are missing out on what life has to offer? There is even a new term to describe this (FOMO—fear of missing out). While the fear of missing out is not new, the use of social media heightens this sense and is at least part of why the use of social media can lead to depression.
Every faith community has a story, and that story is shaped by the shared history of the people of the community trying to live together. However, sometimes we put the culture of our community aside when we are looking at what might need to change. But shouldn’t it be first instead of last? In this podcast, Chris and Chris discuss 4 steps for change in the local church.
The world’s biggest problems today according to Millennials include:
- lack of economic opportunity in employment (according to USA Today, they are making 20% less than their Boomer family members even after accounting for inflation—see https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/13/millennials-falling-behind-boomer-parents/96530338/),
- safety, security, and well-being
- lack of education, and
Chris and Chris discuss the things that Millennials list as their top ten concerns.
Sarah Heath, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Costa Mesa, CA, joins Chris Abel on this week’s podcast. Sarah tells the story of the restart of a hundred year-old church where all six generations are now represented in one location. A church with a lot of history has weathered a lot of difficult times, and creating change must happen in the context of the experiences that members have carried for a long time. How does one create a new environment amidst individuals who have been bruised and burned over the years?
In this episode, Chris Abel suggests three specific ways church leaders can make sure they are on the right track with young adult ministry. Those ways include:
Pay attention to your environment—Be watching and listening to what is going on in your setting. You should be uniquely focused on the context of your environment, and understand that part of your environment is what people think about your church even if they do not attend. You must be a student of your specific culture.
Distribute your leadership—Chris shares an experiment he has been pursuing in his own ministry setting to push the leadership responsibilities to members of the group. Every church leader is going to need a team; what are you doing to create your team?
Tap into all generations—No one agonizes over young people like the parents of young people. Many young people will come to your church because of their connections with the older adults in their lives.
How is social media changing the depth of our relationships? Statistics indicate that the more social media a person has in his or her life, the greater that person’s odds of having depression. Research indicates that “all screen activities are linked to less happiness and all non-screen activities are linked to greater health.” Millennials have heard horror stories about their peers who have been vulnerable with their church communities and have been condemned or punished for it. It’s hard to imagine that Gen Z and Millennials are going to be making their way to a local church to find community, so what are we going to do to facilitate community and healing outside of our churches?
What do Millennials hear when someone says, “When I was your age…”? Today’s podcast focuses on a few phrases that Millennials sometimes hear from other generations, and how they may be interpreting those phrases regardless of what those who say them intend. Some of our responses just come from the fact that we are busy, stressed, or just don’t want to think about what has been suggested. What kinds of responses can we give to Millennials that will validate them?
Chris and Chris discuss an article about millennials and church (you can read that article here: http://www.recklesslyalive.com/12-reasons-millennials-are-over-church/). Items being discussed include the importance of listening, helping the poor, and talking about controversial issues.
In the past it appeared that churches were filled with a disproportionately large percentage of women. But today it appears that millennial men are more likely to show up at church than were their predecessors. Research suggests that millennial males express their masculinity differently than previous generations, and how they view church attendance is part of this changing view. So what does a 21st Century masculinity look like, and what does the local church need to do to appeal to this changing demographic?
Today’s podcast is about the importance of time management. How do we choose the right things as our priorities so that we can spend quality time trying to reach people and invest in their growth? Often our failures to meet our goals result from the errors of either thinking too large, or getting lost in the minutiae, and when we don’t get results we wonder why. How important is our physical and spiritual health in our efforts to grow the kingdom?