"Champion Young People."
I love working for a mission organization with a core value that upholds young leaders and gives them value and a voice regardless of age. This value should remind us of our need for one another in a culture where we can be so quick to criticize other generations. Old to young, young to old we need each other (but that will have to be another blog for another day).
Every generation has its strengths and weaknesses. Let me air out some dirty laundry right off the bat: millennials need to grow in the humility to recognize and receive good wisdom from the generations before us. That is a vital part of moving forward. But I'll also say that this is NOT an article to trash talk anyone. I think we've had enough generational mudslinging to tide us over for a while. Instead, let's take a breath of fresh air and focus on some positives!
By the year 20/20 one in three adults will be millennials. Nations and hard-to-reach places are more accessible now than they have ever been. Millennials are on the earth now, for such a time as this and God has gifted us with that in mind. If you are a millennial and long for something extraordinary but feel you may lack the capacity, read on. It's there, friends.
Or maybe you are of another generation and have been quick to criticize millennials? They are far from perfect no doubt. But don't we all see better results when we empower strengths rather than harp on what's weak? I fear that unless we lay those weapons down, we won't see the unity needed to see the Great Commission accomplished.
So for the sake of the lost, let's focus on the positive for a moment.
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Four Reasons Why Millenials are Made for Missions
1. Outside-the-box does not scare them
In fact, they love to shatter boxes. This is exactly what happens when one decides to give up the cultural norm of college, a career, and white picket fences. *insert sledgehammer* As with anything outside of the status quo, people may heap their disapproval on such a person, but the millennial generation is unfazed by that. The desire to do something extraordinary and outside of the status quo is engrained within them and many times causes them to reject what was once considered normal and acceptable.
Traveling the world (many times with very little money), hiking to remote locations and sleeping on dirt floors for the sake of others is NOT what most people would consider ordinary, but for many, it can stir a sense of excitement and purpose.
The millennial generation would much rather choose a wild adventure over the American Dream, adventure over security, and adventure over monotony. Any day.
2. They long for work that has meaning and purpose
Studies show that the millennial generation is more passionate about how their job impacts the world and they are more likely to stick with employers who "give back" to society. It also says that they tend to value job fulfillment over financial reward and pay. (1) When you love Jesus and want others to know Him, it's not hard to see the purpose in living a life completely dedicated to that cause. When I find myself leading someone into an encounter with the love of God for the first time, there's nowhere else I would rather be in that moment...to see someone get it and have that moment where Holy Spirit illuminates Jesus to them... that's really what makes it worth it. All the fundraising, dirt floors, and foreign food waging war on defenseless American intestines becomes a privilege in light of the love of God. Relationship with God is the core of our existence and it's one of the most important things we can impart to those around us in our lifetime.
3. They are creative problem solvers
According to Forbes, the millennial generation tends to approach problems and opportunities from a different perspective. It's one of the main reasons they argue that Millennials are some of the best workers. (2)
It's time for truly sustainable solutions to poverty and human trafficking and abortion. In the midst of God encountering individuals and transforming their hearts, He also longs to make right the issues of injustice in the world. God has solutions to these problems and it's going to take a lot of creativity and strategy that has never been seen before. Millennials will dare to go there with God. They will dare to believe it's possible and press in to find the answers.
4. They value authenticity and relationship over shallow facades
Authentic love for Jesus and love for those who don't know Him is critical to being a missionary. Relationship and love is at the core of who God is and central to why we were created. It's the kindness of God, that will lead people to repentance. Far too many people have been hurt by churches and evangelists who have lacked this loving-kindness.
Authenticity in a world of facades is a striking and profound thing to encounter and there is a hunger in millennials to see greater levels of it saturate our society. When someone encounters authentic love in your eyes as you interact with them, defenses fall and it paves the way for Holy Spirit to move.
There is gold to be mined, passion to be channeled, and wild dreams to exhort in millennials. It's time to take advantage of this reality and run hard after the lost – no turning back. Millennials were made for missions. It's time to embrace it.
Valerie Schuett | YWAM Orlando Staff
2) Forbes: Six Reasons Millennials Are Actually the Best Workers