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Posts Tagged ‘Millennials’

Church As Rufuge

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Youth ministry must change in order to reach the present generation. Many of our youth ministry assumptions and practices are rooted in approaches that were created during the Baby Boomer and Generation X teen years. But, the Millennial Generation possesses some unique characteristics that challenge our past approaches.

Millennials  are high achievers. They spend more time studying and take heavier course loads in school than previous generations. They are painfully aware that their present performance directly impacts their future opportunities. Boomers and Gen X teens didn’t feel the life-impending pressures of their adolescent faults and failures. Past generations were anxious about nuclear war, violence, and AIDS. Today, teens greatest source of anxiety are their grades and getting into a good college.

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Church As Choice

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While growing up, I remember having two basic choices on Sunday morning. I could choose to go to church, or, I could choose to go to hell. Church seemed the better option to me. Thoughts like these are hardly a consideration for teens today (and many adults, really).

Over the past several posts, I have been focusing on some of the characteristics of the present day teens, who are a part of the American generation known as the Millennials. In this post, I want to talk about the fact that young people’s lives are rooted in a culture of personal choice.

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Increasing Faith & Reducing Risky Behavior

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In my last blog, I detailed some of the distinctions and differences in today’s teens, known as the Millennial Generation. In this blog I want to discuss something that hasn’t changed.

We’ve all heard the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” I think that old adage originated while watching the behavior of a group of teenagers. The truth is, teens will often adopt the values and behaviors of the peers they are hanging around. When a parent tells me their teenage child’s values and morals have suddenly changed, I usually respond by asking, “Has the group of friends he or she hangs around with changed recently?”

As close as Millennials are to their parents, they still want to be accepted and be a significant part of their peer group. For many teens, being embraced by their peers is more important than embracing their parents’ values. During the early and middle teen years, belonging is a Herculean instinct.

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Those Special Millennials

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Today’s teens are a part of the newest, youngest, and largest American generation known as the Millennials. They were born between 1982 and 2002. They have some unique characteristics that require some changes in our youth ministry game plan.

Over this next year, I will be detailing some of the qualities of this present generation and the ministerial implications. If we don’t address these unique characteristics, we risk losing a generation. Today, I want to begin with the fact that they have been hovered over and made to feel “special.”

The Millennials are the most watched, protected, and supervised generation in American history. The pendulum wildly swung from the Gen X teens (born 1961 to 1981) known as the “latch key kids” because they raised themselves to the Millennial parents earning the title of “helicopter parents” because they are always hovering over their children.

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