Millennials

// Long. Too long since I’ve been able to get some proper musings up here. However, changing working patterns should rectify that though and especially in relation to a great little book I’m reading at the moment.

The kind Mr Paul Lambert gave me Millennials by Amy & Frog (surely the best name in the world!) Orr-Ewing a few months ago at the stage of dreaming and thinking about what Mosaic would look like. It couldn’t have been a more timely book had I actually read it! Well, a few months on, and with changing job shapes, I’ve finally been able to get stuck into this little book. My plan, as I work my way through it, is to post quotes in coming posts hopefully providing an opportunity for you too to engage with the subject matter too.

Our passion behind beginning Mosaic was to reach those in the 18-30s generation: a grouping who are becoming the influencers in society as they get jobs, pursue carriers and influence the direction society takes. They tend to be spiritually interested, but averse to institutional expressions of church. Our heart is to see Jesus capture and transform their hearts and lives, especially men who are increasingly being told by our culture to remain boys for longer and longer! More on that in due course.

So, what has that got to do with ‘Millennials’? Despite one of the authors having one of the coolest names in the world, the cover is far from ‘cool’ and the design conscious will be immediately turned off – very early ’90s’! Thankfully, there are some wise words about judging a book by its cover, so what about the content? What’s it about? The subtitle indicates its aim; “reaching and releasing the rising generation.” At its heart, the book is about bringing the good, transforming news of Jesus to bear on those born from 1975 onwards. I like that. A lot.

The authors state “The Generation known as Millennials or Generation Y is compromised of those born between 1975 and 1994” (p14) and ask the question “are we standing on the cusp of a hugely significant culture shift – inside and outside the church?” My experience means I would reply with a resounding ‘yes’!

So here’s some quotes for you to digest from the introduction:

Description

“A new generation is arising in the West called the Millennials / Generation Y / the New Victorians… The Millennials love intensity, conviction, truth, passion, friendliness, holiness/rules, safety, old people, justice and inclusion.” p13

“[They have a] markedly different approach to life, faith, work, worldview and ministry from those who precede them – namely Generation X who are now in their late thirties to early fifties.” p14

“They value friendship networks, are technologically advanced and want to change the world. They are acutely aware of poverty, environmental and social justice issues, and need no persuading that these are important, and they have some of the highest levels of volunteering and activism in the country.” p16

“The other side of the millennial coin are those identified as victims of broken homes and reconstituted families, sexually active at a young age, with substance abuse and low social and educational mobility.” p16

New Victorians

“Taken together the New Victorians in some ways reflect the social and aspirational inequalities of their Victorian forbears which is why the label has such resonance. This generation have within them the potential to entrepreneurialism, great thinking and great achievements as the Victorians did and this is all set within the context of an acute awareness of poverty issues and brokenness.” p17

The challenge

“Responding to this emerging situation is crucial to the lifeblood of the Church for the next 30 years and this book aims to explore how we can do just that in a way that is intellectually robust, spiritually rooted, historically aware, practically compassionate and authentically diverse.”p15

“Unlike the disillusioned post-moderns of Generation X, the Millennials dare to believe. They need to be led, encouraged and harnessed, and they need strong and hopeful churches who can be focal points for them to gather in order to go.” p17

So what do you think? Do you agree with the descriptions and challenges?

Personally, I found some surprises in there, especially the apparent love of holiness/rules and I’m keen to see what that is about as the book unfolds. Also, I’m not sure I agree about how the desire to want to ‘fix’ things in society get’s outworked. In my experience, I see more of a ‘they’re broken, and always will be’ attitude towards institutions that instead works itself out in a ‘let’s just start from scratch’ approach.

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