You’ve probably heard of the Millennials—those Americans aged between 18 and 33—and the news is almost unrelievedly depressing, at least if you’re a Christian concerned about the future.
Here’s how the Pew Research Center describes them: “They are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry.”
Further, according to Pew, they are “at or near the highest levels of political and religious disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the [last] quarter-century.” Nearly three in ten are not affiliated with any religion, while only 26 percent are married, compared with 36 percent of Generation X, 48 percent of Baby Boomers, and 65 percent of the Silent Generation at the same age.
As I said, most of what we hear about Millennials is decidedly downbeat—although Pew does say that Millennials are relatively optimistic. So am I. Let me tell you why.
Christianity Today has just published a fascinating, encouraging cover piece entitled “33 under Thirty-Three,” with the tagline, “Thought millennials are leaving the faith? They’re actually leading it.”
Well, as a happily married, tail-end member of the Baby Boomer generation, let me humbly point out that we older folks aren’t quite ready to head out to kingdom pasture—but we’re more than willing to share the yoke with anyone—including our brothers and sisters in the Millennial generation, who are bursting old stereotypes.
As the Barna Group says, “American millennial Christians are more likely to share their faith than any other age group.” Wow!
In the CT cover story by Kate Shellnutt, we find some of the great kingdom work being done by Millennials. There’s Dale Partridge, 29, an Oregon entrepreneur who starts companies that raise money for causes as varied as autism research, orphan care, and clean water. “Like our God,” Partridge says, “entrepreneurs are great creators.”
We’ve already told you about Nabeel Qureshi, a former Muslim and now an evangelist. This 31-year-old speaks with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and is author of the book, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.” Then there’s the redoubtable Lila Rose, all of 25, who has a wonderful habit of exposing the lies of the abortion industry; there’s acclaimed photographer Esther Havens, who’s 30; Crystal Paine, who’s 32, known as “the super-frugal mom”; there’s choreographer Preston Miller, who’s 26; and Texas megachurch pastor Chris Galanos, who’s 33.
And of course I’d be remiss—and perhaps in a bit of trouble—if I failed to mention our own Eric Teetsel, who is the executive director of the Manhattan Declaration—which defends marriage, the sanctity of human life, and religious liberty. At the tender age of 30, Eric is fighting the good fight despite some seemingly discouraging public opinion polls about Millennials and others in society. “It is easy to become despondent,” he says, “but God is the wildcard. As it has always done, the gospel will bring hope and healing and compel believers to fight for the good of their neighbor.” Amen to that, Eric, and congratulations to you for making CT’s list.
What a variety of ministries and callings! The Christianity Today article highlights many more. Please come to our website for links and other resources so you can learn more about this good news about Millennials.
You might not agree with every one of them, but these Millennial Christian leaders are a reflection of the profound statement of Dutch statesman and theologian Abraham Kuyper, who said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” Those words are worth pondering, whatever your age.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
John Stonestreet, the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Publication date: July 22, 2014