Here's a quick overview of the generations so you will know who we are talking about when we say "Millennials."
Silent Generation (born 1928 to 1945)
Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964)
Generation X (born 1965 to 1980)
Millennials (born between 1981 to 1996)
Gen Z (born between 1997 to 2012)
Alpha Generation (born 2013 to present)
A recent report by Pew Research sheds light on the cultural shifts that continue among Millennials.
Millennials are now in their parenting years. And they are leading major shifts that are happening in family structures and ideologies.
Millennials have brought more racial and ethnic diversity to American society. Is your church a place where all races and ethnicities come together to worship? Would every person in your town feel welcome and loved if they walked in the doors of your church? If you are going to reach Millennials and their children, then you must be the way heaven is described.
"Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for you were slain, and purchased for God with your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." Revelation 5:9
More women are participating in the workforce than any previous generation. This affects many areas of the home and so we must be prepared to encourage and speak into the lives of young mothers who are in the workforce.
Millennials are delaying marriage. They are delaying or foregoing marriage and so they are slower in forming their own households. Many of them are still living at home with their parents. 15% of Millennials are living at home with their parents.
Part of the reason is because they have seen their parents divorce and so they are hesitant to get married. If we give them a blueprint for a successful marriage, we can set them up for success.
Millennials are better educated than previous generations. The number of young adults with a bachelor's degree or higher has steadily increased since 1968. 39% of Millennials have a bachelor's degree or higher.
72% of Millennial women are employed. This means the majority of mothers you are striving to reach are very busy. They value their weekends since they are at work all week.
The median household income of Millennials is $71,000. This has only risen from $70,700 in 2001.
One important thing to keep in mind is the Millennials have a lot of student debt. The number of young adult households that have student debt has doubled from 1998.
Millennials are delaying marriage. 46% of Millennials are married compared to 57% of their parents at the same age.
American woman first married at age 21 and the typical American man first wed at 23. Today, those figures have climbed to 28 for women and 30 for men. If current patterns continue, an estimated one-in-four of today’s young adults will have never married by the time they reach their mid-40s to early 50s – a record high share.
Millennial women are also waiting longer to become parents than prior generations did. In 2016, 48% of Millennial women (ages 20 to 35 at the time) were moms. When Generation X women were the same age in 2000, 57% were already mothers, similar to the share of Boomer women (58%) in 1984. Still, Millennial women now account for the vast majority of annual U.S. births, and more than 17 million Millennial women have become mothers.
By 2019, Millennials are projected to number 73 million. This will make them the largest living adult generation.
All of these stats will affect how we do ministry. If we want to be effective, we must be willing to adjust to reach Millennials. Business as usual won't work.
I would encourage you to sit down with your team and talk through these recent stats. Discuss any changes you need to make and strategies you need to implement.
An example is the fact I mentioned about Millennials having a lot of student debt. With this in mind, you could offer classes and small group curriculum using Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.
If we are going to reach Gen Z, then we must also be focused on reaching their Millennial parents.
When you reach a child you change a life, but when you reach parents you change an entire family.
I'm praying with you that your ministry will be used by God to reach Millennial parents and their Gen Z kids.