Where Boomers and Millennials Think (and Live) Alike


I recently came across this article about how young millennials are the least likely to use up vacation time. As you will see in the article, 25% of full-time workers ages 18-25 who get paid time off will not have taken any of their paid vacation time. 25%!  That is a lot of people and a lot of time. So then the question, at least for me, becomes “why?”  

According to the same survey, boomers ages 62-70 are most likely to use up all of their vacation time, however, boomers — ages 52 to 70 — are leaving behind 25 days of vacation a year (gen Xers are leaving just 13 days unused). Again, why?

The reason, according to some, that these two generations share vacation strategies is simply because:

  1. they are both trying to prove their worth in their competitive field and

  2. they are concerned that they will be looked down upon because of their age.

Still others think that the reason is more practical in nature – they can’t afford vacations – millennials are paying off college debt and boomers are saving for retirement and paying off their kids’ college bills.

So what does this mean for the church?  Here is an idea… what if you were able to compel the millennials and the boomers to give up several days of their what-will-inevitably be unused vacation, and work together to serve the community?

We know from our research and the plethora of stated anecdotal evidence that two specific ways to reach and engage millennials are through their (1) commitment to the common good and (2) through their desire for a fruitful mentoring relationship. In a very practical and immediate way, your church can be the conduit for connecting millennials and boomers by encouraging each of their respective generations to take time off to serve the local community.

Getting back to the article referenced above, employees ages 18-24 and ages 52-70 are leaving behind 21 and 25 vacation days unused a year respectively. Seems like your church, if planned and led well, might be able to reach and engage both millennials and boomers through an intentional and strategic effort of mission work in your community.