The bible is filled with many influential and generationally impactful leaders, however, the one that most resonates with millennial leaders or more closely resembles millennial leaders would be David the King of Israel. David after being anointed to serve as Israel’s next king found himself in a battle with a giant from among the Phillistines named Goliath. David was sent by his father Jesse to bring lunch to his brothers who were supposed to be engaged in heavy warfare with the Phillistines found his brothers trembling and hiding in fear of Goliath. When David hears the threatening and intimidating words of Goliath he becomes so enraged with the response of his brothers and the army that he decides something must be done about this giant. David tells his brothers that he will fight Goliath and they respond to him with discouraging words. His response to his brothers when asked why would he go to fight Goliath and David says, “…Is there not a cause?” (1 Samuel 17:29) The church has been struggling trying to figure out why church attendance is plummeting and their finances are hurting. The answer to this challenge is simple, millennials want to know what is your cause?
This generation will not attend church just to attend or financially support an organization that has no cause. When we look at the Black Lives Matter movement and all of the rallies and public marches there have been huge turn outs of many millennials and if you pay close attention they have been ethnically and racially diverse groups participating. Why do you think various ethnic groups have participated and supported this movement? This is because millennials believe in supporting “a cause”. The reality is this generation believes in participating in things that matter whether it results in financial gain or not. All they want to know is “what is the cause?” This speaks to the prophetic nature of this generation because their focus is to shift culture and see real change. Millennials don’t believe the church carries the weight and influence necessary to bring real change and if it does then it sure is not evident. The question is, what do we do to gain audience with and be able to influence millennials for Jesus?
We must first do the following if we are to have success with discipling millennials:
Define and develop causes that speak to relevant issues that are both biblical and culturally relevant. I am not implying that we need to get out and do marches and rallies but we do need to be involved with or create campaigns that affect humanity.
Develop meaningful campaigns that meet a real need in our communities, society, and culture. Our churches must be relevant and still remain faithful to biblical truth and standards.
We must develop churches that are relational and family centered so that we create an environment where millennials sense genuine love.
There must be transparency in our preaching and teaching so that we are not seen as mini-gods or humans without error. If we are going to impact millennials then we must eliminate religious dogma in our preaching.
Create an environment where the supernatural power of God is evident and the transformative work of Christ is taking place in our hearts.
We are in a war and if we are going to be effective at discipling this generation then we need to learn the culture and find ways and strategies that are impactful. Millenials want Jesus but we must reveal to them led by the Holy Spirit their need for Jesus. The cry of their heart is to experience the TRUE and LIVING GOD and not religion.