Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Answering the Call of Millennials

The millennial brand describes a generation between the ages of 22 and 35.

And ... this is a REALITY!

  • Only 2 out of 10 Americans under the age of 30 believe attending church is important or worthwhile
  • 59% of millennials raised in a church have dropped out
  • 35% of millennials have an anti-church stance ... believing the church does more harm than good
  • Millennials are the least likely age group to attend church ... by far

We are providing a viable option for this next generation!

If you care about this next generation ... and I believe that I do ... and you embrace the mandate of Jesus to preach the gospel and make disciples ... then ... you would do well to read 12 Reasons Millennials Are Over Church.

I list those reasons here and emphasize reason #7.
  1. Nobody's Listening To Us
  2. We're Sick of Hearing About Values & Mission Statements
  3. Helping The Poor Is Not A Priority
  4. We're Tired Of You Blaming The Culture
  5. The "You Can't Sit With Us" Affect
  6. Distrusts & Misallocation of Resources
  7. We Want To Be Mentored, Not Preached At
  8. We Want To Feel Valued
  9. We Want You To Talk With Us About Controversial Issues (Because No One Is)
  10. The Public Perception
  11. Stop Talking About Us (Unless You're Actually Going To Do Something)
  12. You're Failing To Adapt
I actually found this blog very helpful and a confirmation of the way I am investing my life as a father to this generation.  This diverse group of young men and women are the ages of my kids and grandkids.  I care about them.  I want to invest the next 10 years of my life in them.

I anticipate that someone is going to be defensive of the status quo and fire off some kind of statement about caring more about what God wants rather than a group of people want.  I suggest that sometimes people's desires are God-given and not in competition to the desires ... and actually needs of people

Sam Eaton, the author of Recklessly Alive blog, shares his thoughts on #7:
"Preaching just doesn't reach our generation like our parents and grandparents.  See: millennial church attendance.  We have millions of podcasts and YouTube videos of pastors the world over at our fingertips. 
For that reason, the currency of good preaching is at it's lowest value in history.
Millennials crave relationship, to have someone walking beside them through the muck. We are the generation with the highest ever percentage of fatherless homes. 
We're looking for mentors who are authentically invested in our lives and our future.  If we don't have real people who actually care about us, why not just listen to a sermon from the couch (with the ecstasy of donuts and sweatpants)?"
My wife and I just spent 12 amazing weeks with 15 millennials.  Not once a week.  Not a couple of hours everyday.  No.  We lived life with them 24/7 for three months!  And, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.  In fact, I'm planning on doing this every year for the next 10.

We have branded our mentoring effort ONE STEP.  Life is a journey, but it is taken one step at a time. We were honored to have an intercultural (Americans, Ugandans, & Congolese) group of young men and women share one step of their journey with us.  It was an effort to love them in practical ways and to dialogue with them about the foundational issues of life.

The 2016 One Steppers
This residential, intercultural, mentoring course fits the environment needed for the next generation of the day.  We recommend that you point some of those young men and women you know in the direction of this shared life with quality mentors.

Can you hear what 23 year old Kelci Birchette of Sacramento, California has to say about her experience with One Step?
Kelci Birchette
"It's impossible to know just how much your life can change, until you take that step. That step of faith ... crazy, trusting, pure faith. But, that's really all that it takes.  And it's all that He is asking of you.  To be willing to take one step with Him ... on a journey He has already paved the way for.  Our ONE STEP Course is just that. A partnership with God as He takes you on YOUR journey, in this great thing called life ... taken one step at a time.  A relational, cross-cultural, mentorship program that disciples you and enables you to grow into who God created you to be.  Yet, even that seems to be a small description in comparison to what this course truly offers.  Here, at ONE STEP, we are a close-knit community.  It has become a place where we've shared many laughs, tears, stories, experiences and ... over the course ..our entire lives with one another."
"ONE STEP is a place where you come as you are ... yet leave who you've become.  Just 12 weeks of your life.  Invest in those weeks and receive a far greater return for your entire future. The adventure is waiting for you.  HE is waiting for you.  All you have to do is take that ... ONE STEP!"

Space is limited for the 2017 ONE STEP Course.  Early registration is encouraged.  Partial scholarships are available for those who register now.  $50 mailed to Next Generation Ministries, 29940 South Dhooghe Road, Colton, OR 97017, will register the new enrollees for next year.  Note that your fee is for One Step 2017.

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