9 realities of the millennial christian
this list probably could have been a heck of a lot longer. but, in the essence of time, i decided to stick with only highlighting some of the broader realities impacting millennial christians today. don’t confuse this list with “issues” or downfalls of being a christian; that’s not what this is. rather, this list is comprised of a handful of the things millennial christians deal with, both inside and outside of their church. maybe you’ll be able to relate to some of them. after all, you don't have to be a "millennial" to experience anything listed here. i decided to base this post off of my own experiences as both a christian and a millennial, but it can very well be applicable to anyone.
9). you can't always "have fun" with your friends.
most millennial christians still have friends (maybe even best friends) who are not christians. so, for their birthdays, they still go out to the club and party. while you make every effort to support your friends in what they do, sometimes you simply can’t because it does not align with your beliefs. this can cause friction amongst the friendship because three things will happen. they will either rub off on you, you will rub off on them, or the friendship will simply dissolve.
8). there's much more responsibilty for you within the church.
millennial christians are already scarce outside of the church. and, because of that, they are even scarcer within the church sometimes. so, churches may find themselves leaning in heavy on their “faithful few” who are the ideal representations of discipleship. this could include, but is not limited to, making them the unofficial spokesperson of all the youth of the church, expecting them to single handedly go out and recruit more young people because they themselves are young, and being at all church functions as the representation of the younger generation.
7). you are held to a higher standard outside of the church, too.
this kind of aligns with not being able to have “fun” with your friends. they hold you to a different standard. so, if you tell someone off, your friends may look at you with more of a judgmental perspective than they would one of their “worldly” friends. it’s almost like, once you publically declare you are a christian, your friends perceive that as you are no longer a human and you’ve ascended into this upper room of individuals who never make mistakes. yeah, right.
6). your friends come to you with repetitive problems in their life because they think you’re “deep” or have a closer relationship with God than they do.
millennial christians are typically among the first to be called when they’re friends are facing a hard time. whether that may be having a school balance preventing them from registering for the coming semester, a boyfriend/girlfriend who can’t seem to act right, or anything else they may be facing on any given day, they’ll call their “believer” friends first to get a “quick fix” answer, something that’ll make them feel better about the arguably “bad” decision they just made. this is not ok, but it happens quite frequently. It’s like to them, having christian friends is like having a personal psychiatrist who’s on call when they need them in the name of “friendship”. this can be quite irritating, sometimes.
5). you get tired.
one can grow very weary in their walk with christ. i could be biased with this but I feel as though they younger you are, the more difficult it is to stay strong. society at large teaches us that it’s ok to make repeated mistakes when we are young and be irresponsible because being responsible and mature are qualities we can pick up when we are older. however, this is not true. there is no time like the present to “get you together”. but, it can get very tiring trying to convey that to your friends. sometimes, you don’t want to be the person everyone comes to. sometimes, you want to have someone to go to regarding your own issues, ya know? it’s in these times it becomes increasingly important to have a circle of god-fearing friends you can confide in as well.
4). your friends may struggle with "keeping it real" when you are around.
you know that feeling when you walk into a room and everyone stops talking? that’s pretty common with millennial christians. sometimes, your unsaved friends want to discuss unsaved things with other unsaved friends who’ll better understand their rationale for doing whatever it was that they did. they don’t always want to feel like they are being condemned, or judged. so, they may limit what they allow you to know about them. you can’t take this personal, though. at least they respect you enough to not taint your eye and ear gates with that type of stuff.
3). friends (associates) may question why you tithe.
sometimes, you may find yourself having to “train” your friends on what’s up for debate and what simply is not. tithing is one of those things. I’ve heard people say “i don’t know why you are always giving money to that church. what have they done for you lately?” i choose not to dwell in conversations like that. instead, i kinda chalk it up to either you are going to tithe, or you aren’t. but as for me and my house…. you get the rest.
2). when your friends have bad experiences at other churches, or with other christians, they bring it to you to validate why they don’t go to church.
once you profess to your friends that you are a christian, please know that things will change. whether deliberate of self-consciously, they’ll look at you differently. with this, they may also become more prone to telling you about the “drama” associated with bad experiences in the church. maybe they know of a pastor who was stealing money, or something like that. they’ll be quick to ask you what you think of it. you have to be very careful here. watch what you say and always be graceful. remember, the goal is to bring more people into the body of christ, not deter them from it.
1). you have to deal with debunking the negative connotation of the millennial christian.
overall, there’s just an overall negative connotation with being young and being a believer. many may believe that we cannot have fun within the church and that young christians are lame or cannot take advantage of their prime years. but, this is not true; which is why it’s increasingly important that millennial christians use their own lives as testaments and evidence to their peers who may not whole-heartedly believe. i believe this to be the most authentic way to bring more young people into the kingdom.