What you don’t know about Millennials

The Baby Boomer generation is often thought as the generation that worked hard, helped get us where we are, and was the backbone of the 20th century. Now that Baby Boomers are retiring, many have asked the question, “Who will take their place?” Generation X? No.

The Millennials (Generation Y).

Within five to 10 years, Millennials will be the largest generation of our time — some think it is already. Estimates vary, but somewhere between 60 million to 78 million fall into Generation Y. The typical Millennial is internet savvy, technology driven, socially linked, and was born somewhere between 1983 and 2000. Generation X is only third of the size of Generation Y.

Why should you care? This is why:

Members of Generation Y are charting their own course. They want to change the world, and they think they can. They are better educated, more affluent, and more ethnically diverse than any other generation. They define “office” as anywhere with Blackberry service and struggle to imagine a world where people or information cannot be reached in 30 seconds or less. They see a job as more than a means to a paycheck; they care about what companies stand for and expect corporate social engagement to be both a visible and accessible part of their employer’s DNA.

In the next 10 years, Millennials will be the majority in the workforce. With such a change on the horizon businesses must adapt. Politics must adapt. The economy must adapt. And churches must adapt.

Yes, churches. Religion. Churches often fuse over form, but how we reach people will become more important. No longer will the typewriter or copy machine do the job. Computers, websites, social networking, iPhones, cell phones, Google, Instagram, and Twitter are now reaching people. The key word in that last sentence is now. The churches that are attracting the generation that will replace the Boomers speak their language of technology and social concerns.

What is even more troubling is that 1 out of 5 in Millennials (Generation Y) — almost 20% — claim no religious affiliation or belief. That is the highest of any generation.

Churches now have to be better equipped with the latest the reach the masses. The key here in understanding the generational shift is not that generations change, just their tools. Before, the tools were more basic. Now, the tools to reach everyone are evolving.

How can we reach Millennials? More Google? More video projectors? Texting? More Twitter? No.

More relationships. Less programs. Everything behind Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook is people. Those things are just about a faster way to share information, but if the people are not there on the other end, then those technologies do not work. BUT, if you do not speak the language of txt or Google you may get lost in the translation. This does not mean we must ignore the Boomers or Gen X’ers, but we must understand where our culture is and will be going.

Do not get caught up in the hype of flashy gimmicks to reach people. All you need is are genuine relationships to reach Generation Y, W, Boomer, or future generations.

Alan Rudnick

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About the Author
Alan Rudnick has been featured on television, radio, print, and social media and serves as the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa, NY. He has quickly established himself as a leader, blogger, and commentator in the areas of faith, Christianity, ministry, and social media. He is the author of, “The Work of the Associate Pastor”, Judson Press. Alan’s writing has been featured with the Albany Times Union, The Christian Century, Associated Baptist Press, and The Fund of Theological Education. http://alanrudnick.org

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