If there’s anything that makes me cringe and kiss my teeth when scrolling through social media BESIDES seeing pastors trash ‘the dones’ or dechurched, it’s seeing people over-generalize millennials as lazy and entitled.
I saw a charismatic leader I look up to and respect basically pose a question that was hard not to read as condescending and patronizing, asking why this generation of Christians are that way (entitled), and decided to pose my own question.
Of course, it got some feedback which included people proving my very point and getting offended that I was over-generalizing THEIR [older] generation –oh the nerve of me, right? While others expressed disbelief that I’m considered a millennial — does 1981 NOT fall between 1980 and 2000, or am I just THAT bad at math and numbers?
A former co-worker of mine from the last time I lived in Canada posted a video for me to watch that I didn’t at the time because its 24 minute length, but today I finally watched after seeing another social media friend had posted a blog article after watching it himself.
As you can see if you take the time, the video is very enlightening — and not to mention entertaining — emphasizing that there are no “generations”. He reminds us that this idea of a previous generation trashing the next generation is nothing new, and has been going on throughout human existence on this planet.
One takeaway De Long-Farmer says so well, I will just let him say it:
But that is only one layer to this whole issue. Even if you were to narrow the field and, say, take a group all born in the same year, you’d still run into the real issue of falsely lumping them together, assuming as though everyone acts the same, thinks the same, has the same preferences, speaks the same or has the same experiences simply because they are the same age. Let’s take this a step further. Even if we were to take 100 people who were all born in 1996, making them 20 today, who grew up in the same town, same school and similar living circumstances, you would still not have 100 carbon copies of each other. This is the major issue with generational studies and, in turn, articles that read: ‘Why Millennials don’t..’ or “How to get Millennials to…’. It assumes that all Millennials will predictably act a certain way because they fit into a certain age range and demograph. As if we can paint an entire generation in a predictable way solely because we have labelled them something.
Read the entire article by Drake De Long-Farmer here: MILLENNIALS DON’T EXIST!
Steve, Are You Sure You’re a Millennial?
I was born in 1981, and attended FIRE School of Ministry in 2001 when I was 20. I had my own laptop but didn’t start using it as a note-taking device until my third year. I used free 30 (or 45) day trials of AOL you could get on the way out of Wal-Mart. We didn’t have Wi-Fi until a few years later, and for two years all my internet access was on dial-up and I did all of my papers on my own laptop and had to put them on a disc in order to print somewhere since I didn’t have my own printer the first year. I had learned how to use the Microsoft Word suite in a high school class (circa ’96), and my typing class was the last one at Adam Scott C.V.I. to use old school typewriters before offering the class in one of the school’s computer labs.
However, it was only a few years later after graduating Bible school that the iPhone came out, and when I would visit for the annual missions conference, I started noticing it was typical of students to bring laptops to classes.
One of the criteria or characteristics I’ve heard used to describe millennials is that they basically grew up with the internet being a normal part of life. For me, we didn’t get internet until I was 16 years old, and it didn’t take long for internet to become almost a necessity as the technology has rapidly evolved, and now we basically use the internet on our phones. I adapted to internet in my teens and early adulthood, and I’m able to remember the world without it where we were all addicted to the television set instead of our computer or mobile device’s screens.
Even though sometimes I feel like I’m in complete solidarity with the younger part of the millennial generation in certain areas, I also am still classified alongside those who would have a hard time imagining the world without the mobile web and other technologies like streaming your movies and TV shows online.
So yeah, I’m considered to be part of the very beginning of the Millennial generation, and other studies consider me the very end of Generation X. But it was five years ago I first heard of the term “Millennials” when I read a book of the same title, and felt like it gave me a lot of “aha” moments.
In my next post I’m going to use some of my thoughts from this post as it pertains to Millennials and the Church, or more accurately, being ‘dones’ or ‘dechurched’.
In the meantime, make sure to check out Drake De Long-Farmer’s article here.