I just finished an amazing book called, “The Millennials” by Thom Rainer and Jess Rainer. Thom is the president and CEO of Lifeway resources. Jess is his son and is the administration and outreach pastor at Grace Church in Hendersonville, TN where Ed Stetzer is the lead pastor. This book is about the generation of people who were born between 1980 and 2000. I fall under this category so it interested me. Also, we minister to this age group of people as well so we need to study who they are and what drives them.
As a student pastor, I am constantly looking for ways to better communicate and reach the generation in which I am ministering too. Finally, here is a book that is written from a humble and practical perspective on this generation. Thom and Jess wrote this book based upon a collection of stats and interviews from people of this generation. They look at the most important things that have formed the identity and culture in which they live. I want to give you a few thoughts about the book.
- I love the way that it was written– I love the perspective from a baby boomer (Thom Rainer) and a Millennial (Jess Rainer). It was a brilliant decision to co-author the book so that you can have an unbiased opinion and perspective of this generation.
- The Millennials are family oriented– This is their number one thing that drives them according to the statistics given in the book. I would not have assumed this by ministering to them regularly, but it looks this way according to the many statistics and research done by the Rainers. This is a very encouraging point to me. The family has been destroyed lately, and the divorce rate is up in the air. I would love to see this generation be used to bring the family back into exactly what God intended for it to be about. This is helpful when ministering to students!
- The Millennials are interested in changing the world– I love this part of the book. Bottom line, the generation coming up wants to see change. They thought that they had it when they elected Obama as president, but the desire and heartbeat of this generation desires change in our nation. They want to be used to change a person’s life!
- The Millennials are community driven– I see this so much in our students. Some of our largest attended events are events where we get together and serve our community in some way. They love doing things for others! If we can grasp this, and allow this principle to shape us, our nation would be a much better place!
- The Millennials need Jesus– One thing that the “baby boomer” generation did not follow through on was teaching the generation after them about Jesus and how to have a personal relationship with Him. I believe that for so long, we have taught standards, legalism, and doing things thinking they are Biblical, but not in the Bible; and therefore the generation now is fed up with this thinking. This has brought about a generation who cares little about God. If we could teach them Jesus and how to have a personal relationship with Him, then their heart for community and family would be Biblically based! How amazing would that be for their desire to change the world to be for Jesus rather than just political. How amazing would it be for their desire to be a blessing to our community come out of a heart to reach them with the Gospel?
The book is a must read for anyone who works with this generation. It was a book that I picked up, and read in a few days. I could hardly put it down, because the interviews and statistics fascinated me. It motivates me to know where this generation is coming from so I can better minister to them. I definitely give this book a high rating on the scale. You can purchase the book here.