Through the years in ministry, I have been very involved in youth ministry as well as leading worship. Over that time, I have been able to interact with a wide cross section of students, including those from Generation Y (those born after 2000).
Here are some overly generalized things I have seen:
Generation Y definitely loves to stay connected to each other. Granted, that largely happens through technology (social media, texting, etc.), but it is undeniable that they want to stay connected to their friends.
Generation Y is less prone to legalism. Because of the way they have grown up, they are less likely to say that some external thing (like wearing a baseball hat in a worship gathering) equals a heart condition (being irreverent).
The biggest weakness I have seen in Generation Y is the rejection of authority. This is certainly not new with Generation Y, but it has grown to even greater levels. Here is an example: My daughter was talking with one of her Christian friends about a particular moral issue that the Bible clearly teaches about. Her friend simply said, “Well, I think the Bible is wrong about that.” There was not an appeal to a different interpretation of Scripture, there was simply a rejection of Scripture. I believe that is symptomatic of a general attitude that I believe really gained momentum with the Boomers, accelerated even more with Generation X, and became pervasive with Millennials.
How can Generation Y help the older generations?
Generation Y can offer companionship to the older generations. They really do care about relationships and have friendship to offer! They can also help the older generations embrace our freedom in Christ.
How can the older generations help Generation Y?
The older generations can model humility and submission for Generation Y. Through this example, I believe Christ’s humble, submissive love shines through and can break the cycle of pride and rebellion! Let’s commit to loving each other sacrificially!