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The world is focused on the Millennial generation—whether we like it or not.
What gives? The Millennials are the first to grow up under the intense microscope that is the World Wide Web. No generation has grown up with as many people watching as the Millennials have (or at least they think they’re being watched). The Millennials are the largest generation to hit adulthood in human history, though the next generation will likely surpass us. Love them or hate them, Millennials are kind of a big deal (or at least they think they are). Millennials are fascinating—they know it, everyone knows it. The question is: “What is the church going to do about it?” That’s where this blog comes in.
The general consensus is that a Millennial is anyone born between 1980-2000, though certain studies vary slightly on these dates. Also known as the “Me” Generation or “Generation Y,” they follow “Generation X” (also known as “Gen-Xers”) who were born roughly between 1960 and 1980, and Millennials precede “Generation Z” which is made up of anyone born since 2000. My name is Chris Martin, and I am a Millennial. I was born in 1990, right smack in the middle of the Millennial generation, which means I am about as “pure” of a Millennial as there is. Old Millennials (1980-1989) are a lot like Gen-Xers, young Millennials (1991-2000) are a lot like Gen-Zers (2000-present). Based on observations and conversations, those born around 1989-1991 seem to have an odd mixture of both old-school and new-school tendencies.
An “Evangelical” is one who is “of or relating to a Christian sect or group that stresses the authority of the Bible, the importance of believing that Jesus Christ saved you personally from sin or hell, and the preaching of these beliefs to other people” (Merriam-Webster). My name is Chris Martin, and I am an Evangelical. I believe that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God and that faith in the saving power of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is necessary for every human to experience eternity with God. Evangelicalism is a movement within broader “Christianity,” which is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “the religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.” Many have often equated “Evangelicals” and “Christians,” but Evangelicals are a subset of Christians. Here are four primary characteristics of Evangelicalism as provided by the National Association of Evangelicals:
When I see a need, I want to fill it if I am able. A friend and I see a need for thoughtful conversation about Millennials in the Christian blogosphere. Countless Gen-Xers and Boomers write often about Millennials and Millennial Evangelicals. Nobody wants to be “the voice of Millennials” because nobody can accurately describe every Millennial all the time, even Millennials themselves. My goal here is not to be “the voice of Millennials.” But, I thought it would be helpful steward the resources the Lord has given me to help the church understand and reach the Millennial generation: both Evangelical and not. Every post on this blog will attempt to answer this question: “How does this post help God’s people understand, reach, and/or serve Millennials?” If you’re looking for scientific research and analysis on Millennials, you might be in the wrong place. If you’re looking for the smartest Millennial on the Internet to share secret inside information on his generation, you’re probably in the wrong place. If you’re looking for a seasoned pastor sharing wisdom from his 30 years of ministry experience, you’re definitely in the wrong place. If you’re looking for an imperfect, but thoughtful, resource to help the church understand, reach, and serve Millennials, you’re in the right place. I claim no scholarly authority when it comes to the Millennial generation. I will likely make mistakes, using broad strokes to paint a picture of a diverse generation. So, I come before you, the reader, humbly sharing my imperfect observations and personal experiences to help God’s people know and love the largest generation the world has ever seen. As far as I’m concerned, this is not my blog. This is the Church’s blog, and I’m just trying to keep it going. Feel free to send complaints, compliments, or blog ideas via the contact page. Let’s learn together. -CM