I loved growing up at Plainfield Christian Church!
The best thing about PCC is the people that you meet. I was blessed by great ministers, Sunday school teachers, and others who invested in me when I was young and continue to invest in me to this day.
One of the best things about the people you meet at PCC is that they come from all walks of life. That’s because we are a multi-generational church. We have Traditionalists (born before 1945), Baby Boomers (born from 1946-1964), Generation Xers (born 1965-1980), Millennials (born 1981-2000), and members of Generation Y (those born after 2000).
When I think about the different generations in the church I am reminded of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12. He said, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
Paul teaches us that we have a lot to learn from each other. Each generation has something to bring to the table that will build up the church in a special way! On the other hand, each generation also needs the other generations to help it navigate its struggles. That is what we are going to talk about in this blog series.
I am a millennial. That being the case, I want to tell you what I think millennials can contribute to the church.
When I was in college I reached out to Muslim international students. I will be the first person to tell you that I did not know what I was doing and made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I was passionate about trying to help those students. During that time, a wise person encouraged me by saying, “God uses people who are crazy enough to believe that He will do what He told us He will to do.”
I think that describes Millennials because we are bold enough to want to change the world and naive enough to believe that we can actually do it. Whether you look at politics, society, or even religion, Millennials see themselves as a force for positive change.
One example in the church is the number of Millennials that have participated in international mission trips. My parents, who are Boomers, never imagined participating in an a trip like this when they were younger. However, most of my Christian friends have gone on an international mission trip and I went on my first one when I was only fourteen.
Millennials know that God is up to something great so we want to help and be a part of it!
I also want to be transparent about what I think Millennial Christians—including myself—can struggle with the most, which can keep us from fulfilling our God-given potential.
Millennials, like me, have always been told that they were special. Our teachers, coaches, and parents gave us participation trophies and rewarded us for doing simple things like chores. That made us feel like the world was all about us. Unfortunately, that mentality has also seeped into the church. Millennials are fickle. If the church—whether it be the worship, preaching, or programming—is about them, then they love it. However, when the church chooses to focus on something else, many Millennials are out the door. That being said, many Millennials need to learn to love the church more than their idea of what the church should be.
What do you think? Do you disagree or do these things resonate with you?
What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of your generation? How can you and your peers contribute to the church and where do you think you need to grow? I hope that you will join us as we learn about the other generations in the rest of this blog series, Mind the Gap.