Being the parent of two Millennials has made me acutely aware of the issues effecting the church and the Millennial generation. While some may see this amazing group of young people as an enigma, they are are expressing wonderful characteristics that are a huge encouragement for the church. Here are a few observations and how they may be meaningful for worship in your church.
- This generation is dedicated to reimagining what is old to be used in new ways. From making furniture out of discarded odds and ends to shopping at thrift stores for their clothes to be matched with key new pieces, their approach to “things” is wonderfully creative. Our worship traditions offer many opportunities for “reimagining.” Why not let some of your Millennial’s have a go at creating fresh expressions from your traditional worship elements. They will be grateful for both the opportunity to worship in their voice and the chance to lead.
- This group is not afraid of hard questions and they are seeking real answers. What better place for the exploration of those objectives than in the worship of God. We know from scripture that “iron sharpens iron” and that we are called to gather and both “encourage and admonish” each other. Giving opportunities for that to happen in worship becomes a biblical example for outreach to this generation.
- Their ability to embrace spontaneity may be difficult for your long time members. But, it becomes a great chance for real worship outreach. “Flash” worship services held in public spaces are right in their comfort zone. Allow them to be themselves in worship in new places that would challenge your traditional congregation.
- Their love for social interaction is encouraging. Meet with one or many over coffee and talk about their ideas for worship and for outreach for your church. You will find a wealth of creative energy that can then benefit from your leadership and experience. Together you will find new avenues for worship that can be meaningful to multiple generations of worshipers both in and out of the church.
It’s an exciting time to be in church ministry if we will stop fighting the changes and embrace the possibilities. If a church can find a way to open that door, I believe that you will find these incredible young people waiting to join you on this new worship journey.
Dr. Craig Gilbert is the founder of TheWorshipDoctor.com. He is a husband, father, and worship leader with over 22 years of experience. His career centers around bringing unity, depth and vibrancy to the church in congregational worship. He is a published writer, clinician, teacher, and preacher. His newly released DVD teaching series, A Purposed Heart for the Purpose of Worship, can be found on his website.