The question is, how do we reach millennials and Gen Z with the gospel? That’s the ever-present question in Christianity these days, and I’ll do my best to give you my answer here on what you’ve been searching for on Christian Podcast Central, stay tuned.
Part one of our two-part episode on reaching millennials with the gospel, you know, that we talked about why we have this issue. Why doesn’t the gospel resonate with a whole generation of young people? And we talked about how basically the problem is rooted in how we, the baby boom generation, parented the millennials. And it was pretty much an echo of how our parents World War II generation, parented us. The main issue being, or the main goal being, in our parenting, we made sure that our children did not have the same experiences that we had as children. And now we wonder why they’re completely different people with completely different values. So, if you didn’t catch that, episode one, we’ll put the link down below. Make sure you catch it and it’ll give you some insight into part two, which is going to be, I’m going to talk about how we reach millennials.
Now, since we have this problem that we’ve created, this monster that we’ve created, what do we do about it now? How do we reach a generation that doesn’t resonate with the gospel because of the way we’ve raised them? The first thing we need to do is we need to stop thinking in generational terms. These generational terms like World War II generation, baby boom generation, millennial generation, whatever, they weren’t always here. These were pretty much creations of the mad men back in the old days. Advertising men who had to figure out a way of reaching us baby boomers, this giant generation of young people, who suddenly had all these resources and all this freedom, how were we going to market our products to them? And that’s when these labels, these generational labels, started coming. And to a certain extent, they fit, but to a certain extent, we can’t keep putting people in these generational boxes.
Millennials are still people. They’re still sinners, lost souls in need of a savior. They’re just like us. The gospel, as we heard it, as we accepted it, as our parents, and our grandparents, and all the other generations accepted it, still applies to them, and we need to approach them in that way. If we can stop thinking of them as this somehow special generation, that is different from the rest of us, or that we need to go through certain hoops to reach, I think we’ll do a much better job of actually reaching them. The second thing we need to do is we need to stop churching millennials the way we parented them. And I use the term churching for lack of a better verb there. But we have bent over backwards to make sure that we don’t offend them and heaven forbid actually bore them. We’ve made sure that they’ve heard nothing but good, safe messages, nothing about judgment from a Holy God, or sin, or anything like that.
And we’ve tried to raise their self-esteem by making the church look and feel of the church appeals to them, with the music, the lighting, the staging, young, mod looking pastors, all of this. We’ve made sure that church for them is nothing but a positive experience because that’s the way we raised them with, nothing but positive experiences. So they’ve developed this lens through which they see Christianity as something that’s safe and that’s not offensive, and doesn’t require much of them, and it’s certainly not something that they need to put any effort into. Since we have this generation, this monster we’ve created, that doesn’t resonate with the gospel, that doesn’t see the gospel that we know to be true, as something that’s appealing to them, what do we do? How do we approach it? The best thing we can do for millennials and Gen Z, and any generation after them, is let the word of God work in them.
Present them with the gospel, the whole truth of the gospel and let God’s word sink in, and let the Holy Spirit do his work. Stop bending over backwards trying to appease them, stop jumping through every hoop that they, either intentionally or unintentionally, put before us. I’ve learned this lesson from my missionary friends. If you’ve ever had any experience on the mission field, when they go into a culture that’s hostile to the word of God are foreign to the word of God, they simply present it and let the Holy Spirit do his work. That’s the best thing we can do, to reach millennials and Gen Z, is treat them as individuals in need of the gospel and let God do his work. If we do that, they have a chance. If we do not, we’ll lose the gospel for an entire generation and I’d hate to see that happen.
Those are my thoughts. Again, it’s a big question, it’s a complex question. I don’t claim to have all the answers here by any stretch. If you think I’m wrong or you have other ideas, please, let us know in the comments and join the conversation. This is a conversation we want to keep going and that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing here on What You’ve Been Searching For. Next week, I’ll tackle another topic in question that you had, that you want to hear discussed on Christian Podcasts. In the meantime, check us out on YouTube, share on Facebook, like, subscribe, all that good stuff. Again, check us out on all the podcast platforms, whether it’s Apple, or Spotify, or any other one you have. And most of all, please check out our website, christianpodcastcentral.com. Thanks for listening.