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Yeah, I get it.  You can find 10,000 articles out there about how Millennials are the worst.  We have a poor work ethic.  We never get off our butts without constant affirmation and reward.  We don’t know how to interact socially.  We spend too much time on our phones.  We can’t relate to older generations.

beauty warehouseIf you’ve ever been on the internet, you’ve read it all.

But here I am, in my late-twenties, wearing horn-rimmed glasses with an Android in my skinny jeans and an undercut haircut.  My beard is full and manly.

I am a Millennial.

So I can either listen to all those people telling me how terrible I am or I can make the best out of my generation’s strengths, and offer what I can to help the church and my community.

Obviously, I choose the latter.  Here is what I embrace about being a Millennial in the church:

Technology

I started out with a flip phone in my teen years, and have progressed through the stages of phone-hood.  My Nexus 5 is about due for an upgrade, and I’m looking at the Nexus 6.

These decisions were completely natural for me because my generation has technology at the forefront of our learning.

Since it’s so natural, I am going to help the church by utilizing technology to help productivity, organization, communication, and aesthetic appeal.

Authenticity

We know how to spot a phony.  It’s not hard.  Just look for the shiny hair, slick 3-piece suit, and the old “Send me $1,000 by calling this toll-free number and God will give you $10,000.”

Millennials value authenticity.  We want real relationships, dealing with real issues.

And I bring that to the church through smaller, intimate meetings.  At my church, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper with a full meal so that we can foster strong relationships over food, and more importantly over proclaiming the death and resurrection of Christ.

Community-Focus

walkingA good thing about my generation is that we view good works and serving our community as a high priority, even if someone is not a Christian.

So it’s very natural for us to cling to passages of Scripture about loving our community, like when Jesus said, “love your neighbor”.

At our church, we do neighborhood outreaches, seeking to do evangelism through meeting urgent needs.

City-Focus

As a Millennial, I love when Jeremiah quoted God’s words to him and said, “Seek the welfare of your city.”  Yes, I know it was in the specific context of Jerusalem being exiled to Babylon, but the principle remains that all of us can seek the welfare of our cities.

I am currently working to develop a network of leaders in my city – church leaders, church planters, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, cultural creatives, artisans, and more.  The purpose being to take care of our cities through spiritual, financial, artistic, and altruisitic well-being.  Here is an example of a network like that.

Seeing Past Denominational Boundaries

I don’t find my comfort in large, established organizations, whether in the church or not.  I find comfort in an authentic relationship with Christ, and with my church family.

So I don’t need a denomination to tell me that my faith is legitimate.

I certainly value the strength of network, resources, and organization that denominations can bring.  But the denomination itself is not rock.

I find comfort in an #authentic relationship with #Christ, and with my church #family. Click To Tweet

New Marketplace Standards

I embrace the fact that no one works a job for 40 years and then retires like they used to.  The middle class has to be creative in building a diverse portfolio of streams of income.  People work part-time, side-jobs, do contracting, and start small businesses.  The days of the “full-time minister” are going away.

It’s not a bad thing, it’s just different.  But I accept it, and I look for ways to contribute to my church and my community through the different services I provide through my work.

Thoughtful Politics

It used to be that the only thing Christians talked about in politics was abortion and homosexual marriage.  While I agree that those are important issues, they are not the only issues.

The Culture Wars are almost over.  And organizations like Christians in Politics are helping us understand how we can be involved in politics to serve our community.  It’s very innovative.

Emphasis on Art

Art in our cities.  Art in our churches.  As a Millennial, and at The Borough, we value art.

We work to change how our churches support and interact with artists and their work.

Non-traditional Worship

ferriswheelSome traditions are good.  The Apostles passed down a tradition of the Gospel, and the lives we should live and the relationships we should have.

But some traditions are superfluous.  Why do pastors need to wear suits?  Why do you have to meet in a designated church building?  Why is the sermon considered the only (or at least non-negotiable) form of teaching?

My generation asks “Why?”, and it’s a positive thing.

My church meets in homes, and we are connected through a network of leaders.  Our worship allows for gifts outside of music to be used during the worship service (why do we have to call it that, by the way?).

My generation asks 'Why?', and it's a positive thing. #millenial Click To Tweet

Rediscovering the Role of Women

Women are SO important to the church.  At The Borough, we acknowledge what is said in 1 Timothy 2:12 about women not having authority over men, including in terms of being an elder at the church.

But there is still a massive amount of things women can must do.  It includes leadership in great capacity, and it throws off older cultural restraints which held women back.  My generation has no problem with this.

An older article explains this in greater detail.

Environmental Sustainability

We gotta take care of our environment, and it goes back to Genesis.

If my generation understands nothing else, it’s that we gotta be green or we’re gonna kill the earth.  Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Fo’ life.

Take a look at this other article for local applications of the church and environmental sustainability.

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