Millennials and Generosity

Most millennial segments see the world through a lens of hope. They have witnessed terrorism and multiple natural disaster tragedies, both on American soil and around the world, yet they deeply believe that they (as individuals and as a generation) can make a difference and leave this world a better place. Millennials are both resilient and compassionate. This drive to make a difference affects not only their leisure time, but also especially their places of work. 

“The 2015 Millennial Impact Report studied why and how the 30 million young adults born in the last twenty years of the last century give and volunteer and the extent to which that is influenced by their employer.” Understanding the motives behind millennials generosity will help churches better serve alongside with millennials. 

Some of thekey findings from the report:

  1. “Millennials utilize peers to identify cause work.” Personal invitations and relationships are incredibly important when it comes to tapping into the compassion and generosity of millennials. They don’t give because they’re “supposed to,” they give because of the story and relationships of the organization. Churches need to regularly tell the “why” of what they do, remembering God’s Greater Story and their part and place in it. 
  2. Their skills are needed. “Millennials are more likely to volunteer if they can leverage their skills or expertise. Companies could incorporate skills-based volunteering to increase participation and maximize the value of the volunteer experience.” Churches can do the same thing in relation to stay-at-home missional experiences. 
  3. What difference does it make? “Millennials want to know that their involvement means something.” What difference does it make if they attend worship on a Sunday morning or not? What difference does it make if they are in a small group or Bible study? What difference does it make if they give financially? 
  4. “Millennials give to the causes they care about. Ask them what they care about.” Churches need to develop strong avenues of communication where they can ask, listen, and learn from millennials what issues and causes they feel are important and then respond in a compassionate manner.

God’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven”, as we so often pray, involves our intentional and consistent participation. As those created in God’s image and given God’s commission, we have been charged with living our lives in the way of Jesus.

When churches are able to connect God’s mission with loving and serving neighbors, for the good of the community, they will help millennials see that, when Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” he was teaching us that we have an important role to play in those prayers being made real.  In what ways is your faith community connecting God’s mission with millennials?