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  • John Thompson

    “While some of the stereotypes are true for ”

    You could have stopped there. There are stereotypes for every age group, social level, economic, ummmm….. you get the point.

    “1. Put millennials on stage.
    When we go to church and see a bunch of gray-haired guys on stage and a bunch of gray-haired people in the crowd, we wonder if we fit in. ”

    Fair enough that there needs to be a presence of the young on stage. The tone though of the rest of your comments is that if you are old you need to step out of the way. Stereotypes??? You think that it is new that it is difficult to as you say “break into ministry”? Do you really believe that yours is the first generation that has had to push to get into the leadership areas? Paul had to encourage Timothy on this point and Timothy had had Paul to introduce him. Perhaps that is why those gray heads are holding on, it took a lot to get there.

    “2. Be real with us.
    We crave authenticity.”

    Must say that I keep hearing this and find it to be a bad stereotype that millenials want to believe about themselves. To often the the concept of being real with us means tell us what we want to hear.

    “3. Embrace technology.
    Stop pretending like it’s 1985 and we don’t all have smartphones in our pockets.
    Technology has dated many practices of the church.
    Stop asking everyone to fill out a physical communication card with a dull pencil when you can just ask us to send you a text, email, or fill out a quick form on your website.
    Don’t ask us for our home phone number. Does anyone still have a landline? Just ask for a phone number and assume it’s a cell phone.”

    Have you been to a doctors appointment lately? You are asked to fill out a form with the information that you have already given them with a pencil or an ink pen advertising some drug. They ask for home and cell number. Yes people still have landlines, so on the other side by not making this available the church would be telling another group of people that they were not valuable. You are not the only group that is being served.
    Also, understand the cashless part but do you understand the expense that that brings?

    “4. Use visuals.
    Like it or not, we are a visual generation.
    Preaching isn’t dead to millennials, but it needs to adapt to our culture.”

    This is an issue for all because of the pervasiveness of the TV and computer. Yes, millennials are the most affected because they have only known this but that does not make them the only ones. This is more of a general cultural need.

    “5. Be clear.
    We like things that are clear and simple.”

    That has been the cry since Pharaoh was having them carve out his victories in battle on stone walls. You are not the first to need this. KISS – Keep it Short and Simple, that line has been around for several generations. Wish that all you had to do was just put it on line and everyone would hear it but that is not reality if you want us to be real about it. Even with all of the different ways that things are communicated people still do not hear.

    “The point
    But if you want to reach us, some things in your church will have to change.”

    I have been told that for decades now, and have watched the church contort itself to try and meet the supposed needs of each successive generation. Francis Shaeffer spoke about answering the question of each generation to win that generation. Seems that we are more talking about optics here than what is the question of this generation and how do we answer it.

    “Otherwise, your church might keep fishing with the wrong bait.”