The millennial generation is all the rage in today’s world. They impact the economy as they enter the workforce, they impact elections, and shape the future of this nations culture. I believe this generation is among the most privileged generations this world has ever seen (and perhaps may ever see). With where millennials stand in history they have access to the most information, education, and freedoms that the world has ever seen.
The Problem: Faith is Not Hereditary
The millennial generation includes any individual born between 1982 and 2002. The millennial generation is the least religious generation we’ve seen. Consider the statistics taken from a 2014 study:
As for my experience, the statistics do seem to be true. Lately, I’ve been doing some ministry at a local university and find a much less religious mindset, even among professing Christians. Looking at these statistics actually gives me a sense of optimism. I am optimistic that nominal Christianity will become less and less of a concern in the evangelical church. Rather, it provides the opportunity for the Christian worldview to be wonderfully and rightfully distinctive to the rest.
If there’s anything these numbers can communicate is that faith is not hereditary. While it is true that individuals are creatures of habit and we learn and adopt many of the practices and principles of our surrounding environment, this is not the case for religion in the millennial generation. Many sociologists or anthropologists would argue that faith and beliefs are based on a persons ethnic, geographic, and economic status. Well, these statistics seem to indicate quite the opposite.
What this tells us is something the Bible has taught for years: your faith is not hereditary. You do not inherit your faith from your parents or even your surroundings. Rather, from the Christian worldview, faith is a gift from a sovereign God granted upon the lost soul (Eph 2:1-10). This provides millennials with hope that the Gospel will have its God appointed measure of success despite the declining statistics of religiosity among our peers.
The Perspective: A Minority in the Rising Majority
Looking at these stats and quickly realizing the shift in power to the millennial generation has led me to start this series of blogs. I’d like to write this series of blogs from the unique perspective from which I stand. I am not only a millennial myself, but I am also a millennial evangelical pastor (of a church which consists mostly of ethnic minorities).
As a pastor, my primary responsibility is to my local church. God calls His under-shepherds to “shepherd [or pastor] the flock of God among you” (1 Pet 5:2). I do believe that pastors are God’s gifts to the church for the purposes to edify and equip the saints for ministry (Eph 4:11-16).
The Plan: Blogs on Blogs on Blogs
The plan is not to change the statistics given above; I’m not God. I don’t have the power and ability to change the minds and hearts of those that are around me. The plan is simply just to think alongside other believers and challenge believers to grow in their discipleship of Christ. My desire is to see saints grow in their love and appreciation for the Savior in this challenging world.
Moving forward I’d like to write a series of blogs to millennial Christians from my perspective as an evangelical millennial pastor. The topics will range from discussions on issues in politics, society, culture, doctrine, religion, media, worldviews, etc. The one common thread that will not be compromised is the biblical lens that informs my worldview.
I’d like to end with a simple passage that ought to serve as grounds for the Christian’s hope, aim, and joy, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:11-14).