by Thom S. Ranier & Jess W. Ranier
B&H Publishing Group
Reader Appeal: Adults
Genre: Generational Studies
Do you know what a Millennial is? And, did you know they are the largest generation ever? First, let me just say, I'd never even heard of the Millennials, and second, what happened to the Baby Boomers? I thought THEY were the largest generation ever?
Well, if you are as lost as me, this is a great book to pick up and read. The Millennials are those born between the years 1980 and 2000. They are the children of the Boomers, so it makes sense that this generation is larger than the one preceding it. The authors of The Millennials have completed thousands of interviews of men and women born between 1980 and 1991 (as those born after 1991 would have been too young to answer many of the questions), in an effort to understand how this generation is different from older generations.
Let me just say, the times, they are a changin'. We all realize this is true with the popularity of cell phones, texting, tweeting, and emailing. Facebook, iTunes, and apps have overtaken our vocabulary and the way we stay connected to each other and our world. If all of these aforementioned are foreign to you, rest assured you are not a Millennial. As my kids would say, you're from the "olden days."
I found this book fascinating. Some of what the authors discovered was not surprising, but much of it was. The Millennials are committed to family. Not only to parents and siblings, but their marriages, as well. They are dedicated to working smarter, not harder. In other words, they are less likely to be workaholics, yet just as successful as their parents. And they are committed to making a difference in the world, however big or small that difference might be.
As a Christian, what I found most interesting, was how few Millennials have any religious belief. As I look around my church and neighborhood though, I see the evidence. Millennials are not attending church, and they don't have specific beliefs. Yet, the authors don't leave us without hope or direction. Part of their research includes ways churches can include Millennials and draw them back to church. Being from a different (okay, older) generation, I found this information to be insightful and challenging.
Interestingly, The Millennials was written by a father and son team. A Boomer and a Millennial. You can't get more personal than that. It's written in a very readable format, not your typical statistics and numbers kind of research book. For those who want to understand their children, neighbors, friends or family who are part of this generation, this is a great book to read.
Let’s Talk About It
If your family members are interested in this book, then encourage discussion about it afterward. You can use these questions to get started:
• What is really important in your life? How is this different, or similar to your parents?
• What are you doing to make a difference in the world?
• How could your church do a better job of relating to Millennials?
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