15 One Line Lessons from Thom Rainer, March 2012

Dr. Thom Rainer was at our church yesterday for a Reaching The Millennials Conference. It was a great opportunity to learn about reaching the largest generation in US history – The Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000).

Anytime you talk about a generation, there are always generalizations, but here are some of the one line lessons from the day:

1. The millennials are lining up with the builder generation in terms of their views of traditional marriage.

2. Millennials won’t come to a church unless they can make a difference. They don’t care about being anonymous; they want to know what’s expected of them.

3.  Millennials are relational and want to be plugged in to an ongoing group. Does your church have a place to plug them in?

4. It’s important for churches to share their expectations with millennials wanting to become members.

5. Two words that will describe the millennial generation: connected and committed.

6. If your church doesn’t have a place for millennials to make a difference, then don’t expect them to come.

7. Only 15% of the millennial generation is Christian. But those 15% are sold out.

8. This generation is color blind racially and ethnically.

9. The millennial generation would rather have another day off than extra money – time is more important than money for this generation (given their desire for friendships and connections).

10. As far as worship goes, millennials reject no heart in worship, they reject complacency, they reject the status quo, and they reject worship or a small group that’s done out of obligation.

11. Millennials reject an inward focus. The community is not a pool of potential church member prospects, but a group of people who need loved and cared for. They will jump on board if the church is making a visible difference in the community.

12. If a church wants to reach millennials, give them a reason why they should not be indifferent about the church.

13. This may sound basic, but the best way to reach millennials, given their relational nature: invite them.

14. Keywords for church leaders wanting to reach millennials: transparency and integrity.

15. This is the first generation to genuinely like older generations (see their parents as #1 source of advice, etc.).  Great opportunities here for the church.


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