Understanding Millennials

There are varying positive and negative opinions on Millennials, with lots of studies done, but I’m going to try to sum up my experience, thoughts and research on this generation of great potential.

Millennials are individuals born between 1980 and 2000.  Earlier this year, Pew Research said that they are now America’s largest generation (over 75 million).  Some interesting facts on Millennials are:

  1. The Pew Research Center determined that Millennials are much more likely than prior generations to describe themselves as political independents.
  2. Another survey from Deloitte found that Millennials wanted business to focus more on “people and purpose”.
  3. Millennials are living at home with parents longer according to Pew Research.
  4. They are slower to buy a car.
  5. They are slower to get married.
  6. They are much more likely to have student debit.
  7. Percentage of Millennials who enrolled in college is higher than in prior generations; however, they are not increasing in high demand majors like science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
    fig1
  8. While the US public in general is becoming less religious, Millennials are much less religious than everyone else.
  9. According to Christianity Today, Millennials are less likely to read or trust the Bible than any other generation.  Yet Christian youth who go to church and care about their faith may know the Bible better than older Christians. Practicing millennials are more likely to believe the Bible came from God and read it multiple times a week than any other generation (87%), according to a six-year American Bible Society (ABS) and Barna Group study.
  10. Practicing Christian Millennials are  les likely to believe that the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life, according to Christianity Today.
    fig2

 

I have spent a lot of time personally getting to know Millennials.  While I know that not all of what I’m about to say applies to all in that generation, I think it does for the majority. My experience with Millennials shows that they:

  1. Understand and embrace technology like no other generation before.
  2. Are a very social generation.
  3. Collaborate and cooperate with each other.
  4. Are looking for adventure and a purpose.
  5. Want to feel valued and respected.
  6. Believe that success is not measured by your bank account.
  7. Are passionate about wanting to make a real difference.
  8. Despise any perceived hypocrisy.
  9. Don’t want traditionalism for the sake of traditionalism.  In other words, they don’t want to do things without meaning, just because we have always done it that way.
  10. Want an elder wiser mentor in their life, although most won’t admit it.
  11. Once they make a connection with someone, they love and care deeply about that person.

As I reflect on the list above, I think these are true of all of us, no matter what generation we are in.  So for all of the negative hype about the Millennial generation, I have found that they are not so different than us older folks.

We have to invest the time to get to know Millennials, and do life together with them.  We need to show them we care deeply for them, we love and value them, and we respect them.  We need to encourage them to get involved in a great cause so they can make a difference.  We need to share with them our failures, let them know that is ok for them to fail, and that you will be right beside them.  We need to share what Christ has done in our lives, and encourage them to live life with Christ daily.

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Ken Leaman

Ken Leaman

Ken Leaman has a passion for students, and for over 25 years has been volunteering within churches, leading and mentoring students.  These churches are:

Ken is a Director of Enterprise Data Management at IHS Markit, which is a multi-Billion dollar information company. Ken has also served on the board of another non-profit called DFW HDI, which is a membership organization of IT support professionals.  

Ken, and his wife Karen, have been married for 26 years, and have a 25 year old son.  They live in McKinney, TX, just North of Dallas.

As Ken and Karen repeatedly witnessed many Christian students who were active within the Church walk away from their faith shortly after graduating high school, they grew frustrated.  Studies show that about 70% of young adults leave their faith after graduation, which is a huge issue since they are the future of the Church.  After much prayer and searching God's direction for many years, the Leaman's felt His calling to start a ministry to address this problem.  In 2014, they gathered like minded Christian professionals to help begin Young Adults of Worth Ministries.  We believe that this ministry is from God, and it will be blessed by Him for His glory alone.