Adulting. The verb for “being an adult.” It’s the new experiences for some young adults of having added responsibilities of growing up. For example, “Today I washed my car, went to a job interview, and paid my taxes. A full day of adulting.”
This might be a new term for some of you who are Boomers (1946-1964). It might even seem offensive to some of you Gen X’ers (1965-1979). But ask someone within the Millennial (1980-1998) or Generation Z (1999-2015) age group, and they will most likely say, “Adulting...it’s a thing!”
There are often many stereotypes placed on one generation to the next. It happens to each generation. Many videos, posts, and blogs have depicted all Millennials as lazy, entitled, overly sensitive and combative. That is true of some in that age range for sure, but not all of them.
Church, how many Millennials do you actually know? Gen Z’ers? When you really get to know a few from those generations, your stereotypes might just get busted.
As a pastor I get the joy of building into my weekly rhythm, meeting with people from all walks of life. I sat down with Jarod Coulter recently for coffee. He is a junior at ASU in Tempe getting his undergraduate degree in economics. (Spoiler Alert: Millennial stereotype busted up!) This young man is on fire for Jesus! We will be praying for him in church in a few weeks as he heads to Indonesia for the summer to serve the least of these in the poorest of places, in a country filled with one of the highest percentages of Muslims in the world. He is a hard worker. He loves his family deeply, and he has told me that one of the most important things to him in his journey with Jesus is to have men older than him pour their wisdom and God’s truth into his life.
Here is my challenge to you after speaking to dozens of Millennials this past year and our staff focused on listening to why these generations are not connected to church life: INVEST in a relationship with at least one person younger than yourself on a consistent basis between now and July. Point them to Jesus and they might just do the same to you. They really do want it, need it and crave it, and you need the relationship too. It’s mutually beneficial.
Next steps - pick one:
- Read up on Millennials. Myth of the Millennials is a great read by a fellow LCMS millennial pastor and his wife, Ted and Chelsey Doering. Read up on Gen Z. Or email Annie Tiberg, our Director of Christian Education - she loves to chat about how to engage these generations!
- Engage in conversation, fellowship and fun with a person from a younger generation than you. Chat with them over dinner at your house - who doesn’t love a free meal? Grab a beer (if they’re old enough). Head to Dutch-Bros for coffee. Ask them about about their favorite TV show, school or sports team. Here is a helpful graphical outline of how this goes! Don’t know anyone younger than you, just ask! Pastor Tim and I will connect you to one.
- Invite them to #REALadulting! If you are in this age range, attend! Starting this Thursday night, we are launching something new to help our younger generations as they begin adulting. #REALadulting is a 4-week experience designed to help college and career-age young adults grow in financial, career and relationship-building skills. Each week will be led with by specialists and professional experts who are committed to raising up the next wave of high achievers.
This meetup will gather each Thursday in April from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on our campus. The first class will meet in our school theater.
Don’t worry, it’s not too late to attend or pass along the invite to someone you know would get a lot out of this experience. No need to register or pay anything, its free!. Just show up. By the way, we will have some legit snacks too!
Glad Jesus helps us all at some point or another become #REALadults with #ChildlikeFaith!