Almost anything you read about Millennials paints a disheartening picture. The research on this generation, as a whole, is burdening. So I jumped on the opportunity to preach Spiritual Emphasis Week at Truett-McConnell University. After three days on the campus of TMU, my burden for Millennials is mixed with a great deal of hope.
In general, Millennials have low enthusiasm for anything that looks like traditional American evangelicalism. Yet, in conversations with many of these kids, I hear a hunger for biblical truth. They are eager to know what authentic Christianity looks like in everyday life.
Standing in front of the TMU student body, my generation’s failure was convicting. There are exceptions, of course, but here’s my burden. We’re handing them a broken world without showing them how to live above it. We’re teaching countless Millennials how to cope rather than how to thrive. We’re giving instruction on how to handle their feelings to the neglect of their spiritual hunger. We are severely under-challenging this generation regarding biblical Christianity.
So, I was determined to present what a transformational relationship with Jesus Christ looks like. Kids flooded the altar after I preached on carnality. Several prayed to receive Christ. After a sermon on sexual sin, I watched kids confess their pasts to God. Dating and engaged couples knelt together, committing to honor the Lord in their relationships. Several students said they had never been told the spiritual and emotional costs of sexual sin. Let that sink in for moment. On the last day, kids stood to their feet, committing to live “All In” for Christ.
I firmly believe that faith in Jesus Christ will unleash this generation to do far more than we currently expect. The degree to which we challenge them may determine whether or not they rise to the occasion. I beg you to examine how you approach students in your community, your church, and your home. I’ve seen kids respond well when student pastors decide to stop entertaining and start challenging spiritually. Parents, I know it seems like they aren’t listening, but they pay attention when we live out genuine faith.
Some call Millennials the lost generation. I believe they are a looking generation. They are looking for authenticity and transparency. Do I still have a burden? Yes! However, many kids still desire an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. It is my fervent hope and prayer to help them fix their eyes on Him.