Whether you approach Millennials with confidence or confusion, the fact remains: This is the generation that will inherit the Church. With this in mind, do we have a vision for the role Millennials can play in the Church of today?
Proverbs 20:29 offers a starting point for what I believe can be one of the most exciting partnerships life has to offer. “Youth may be admired for vigor, but gray hair gives prestige to old age” (MSG).
Hair styles aside, the point is clear: What the next generation has in passion, it often lacks in wisdom. And I would add that what the older generation has in wisdom, it often lacks in passion. It seems we need each other!
As leaders in the Church, we have been given the charge not only to train up young leaders but also to collaborate with them. I can think of at least three areas where the Church needs the passionate voice of these Millennial leaders.
A Clear View Into the Changing Cultural Landscape
The next generation is connected to the pulse of culture. This perspective is necessary for the Church to respond clearly and compassionately to current issues. Passion meets wisdom when older leaders help young leaders wrestle with current issues through the lens of Scripture and history while we (the Church) find an apologetic that connects.
Honesty and Sincerity
The next generation is looking for ways to remove layers of religious noise in search of true substance. They don’t want more words; they want authentic connection. Passion meets wisdom when older leaders guide those coming behind them on the importance of the essentials, while we (the Church) let go of those traditions that don’t matter.
A Deep Hunger for Jesus
Above everything else, I believe this generation is hungry for Jesus. They have faith and a clear mission to love God and others. Passion meets wisdom when we offer ourselves as mentors, sharing life and encouraging Millennials in their pursuit of Jesus while they revive our churches to love him more.
Millennials are worth the risk, because they are our future. But that future depends on making them our present. As wisdom complements passion, I believe this future is bright.
This article originally appeared in Evangelicals magazine.