We had a wonderful meeting in March and if you missed it, or would like to review the content, we have the video and transcript here below!
Slides from presentation
Brian, if you’d like to come up. I have a few notes here. These are pretty good. Yeah, yeah. As you probably know by now, Brian is an entrepreneur, a little bit on the younger side. He’s to me, anyways. Maybe not to you. He has 3 automobile businesses, automotive businesses which is pretty cool, and I know he’s been attending KBA for a long time. It says here for 8 years and it’s been helpful gaining insight. I like his 3rd point which is even better in that he’s already retired. You won’t know it by now, but he retired as a youth pastor. I thought that’s pretty cool and he still has a heart for the next generation. As we asked him for his insights, this really resonated apparently with where his passion is and his calling is, is how do we work with the younger people and especially in revealing the kingdom to them. I’ve gotten to know Brian over these years and he’s a real inspiration to me, and so I’m really excited to hear your testimony and what you have to share. Let’s welcome Brian.
I appreciate it, Jim. All right. Well, I’m blessed to be here with you all. Have you adjusted to the time change yet? You all adjusted? See, my pastor had a great idea. He said, “Why don’t we just make the time change happen at 4 PM on Monday and call it happy hour?” It would be way more effective, right? Well, can I pray real quickly before we start? Would you all pray with me? Father, it’s an honor to come before You to seek Your counsel and Your wisdom. Many lives, many testimonies in this room, but I pray today that You would use that what You’ve put on my life and my heart to share a timely word about the next generations, how You’re going to work and how You will bless them. Father, may the meditation in my heart be what comes out, Lord, and the Spirit working through me. Of course, we don’t need to hear from another man. We need to hear from You. God, have your blessings in favor upon us this morning and we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
All right, cool. This morning, we’re going to talk about The Millennial Mission Field. I would pose the question, how many of you would say that you really have a vague understanding or really don’t know what millennial means or who the millennials are? You can be honest. Do you kind of not know? Good. Honestly, a year ago, this was relatively new terminology to me as well. Let me ask you this question: How many of you have children or know somebody between the age of 15 and 34? Okay. Well, congratulations. You know a millennial. Millennial is just another sort of fancy term for the Y Generation or Generation Y. These were generally born between the range of 1980 to the early 2000s. That’s what we classify as a millennial. It’s just the semantics.
Today, we’re going to take a deep look into the minds of the millennials. This is kind of fun. Here are some examples. This is not on the screen. We’ll get to that in just a moment. Here are some examples of famous quotes that the millennial generation might rewrite. Okay? Some of these may be familiar, some not, but the first one is, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” Kind of an old adage, right? Well, the millennials would rewrite that and say, “Life is what happens when you’re looking at a smartphone.” That’s how they would rewrite that one. Here’s a second one. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” You ever heard that one? Here’s how a millennial would see that. “An emoji is worth a thousand words.” Do you know what an emoji is, by the way? Okay. Don’t worry. Don’t feel bad. An emoji is when you text message or you’re on Facebook and you put the little smiley faces and little emotion cons or emoticons. They called that an emoji. Congratulations. You’re brilliant now.
The third one would be, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled.” They might rewrite that to say, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less tweeted about.” Do you know what tweeting is? You use Twitter to tweet, okay? All right, the 4th one would be, “You are what you eat.” We all know that one, right? A millennial would say, “You are what you download.” They’re all about the computers. Lastly, before we get started, does anyone have any questions? That’s what you always hear. Teachers would say that or so on and so forth. A millennial might say, “Before we get started, does anyone need to check their email?”
The millennial generation is a very tech savvy generation. You think about smartphones, iPads, emails, Twitter, Facebook. They are the generation that grew up knowing these technologies. They’re very much integrated in their lives. In fact, if you watch somebody between the ages of 15 and 34, it’s very hard for them to be in a room with other people, like we are, sitting at a table and not doing this. It’s awkward. To put the phone down … In fact, when we did youth ministry which I did for 8 years … By the way, not to get too deep into terminology, but sometimes God will call you to an area of ministry or a place for a season. That was the last 8 years for me, was in youth ministry.
We hosted Bible studies at our house on Wednesday nights and we fed the students, and we would make them put their cellphones on a table. It was like crack them watching the phones buzz on this table. They were like … It was good to separate from them because they actually could eliminate the distraction and focus on God’s words, so very text savvy generation.
As I mentioned, I did youth ministry for 8 years and late October was the culmination of that season. I went into more of an adjunct pastoral care role at our church. In November, I got to go down to Brazil with a gentleman named Paul Cuny. Some of you may remember Paul from the Christian Business Alliance Conference. He is, I guess, well-renowned Kingdom Marketplace speaker. We went down and I shared to like a thousand young people a message on leadership. I started to see God’s anointing, I guess even after youth ministry as it pertains to my heart for young people.
As Jim mentioned, I have 3 businesses now and we steward over all 3. They’re God’s businesses. It just happened I’d be operating them. Ironically, 11 of our 13 staff members are millennials. Honestly, I didn’t really know that stat until I was preparing and I go, “Holy cow.” Eleven of the 13 staff members are under the age of 34 in our organization.
Funny story. One of our shop foreman … I’m in automotive service and repair. We have a rental car company, but our shop foreman … We were at an event and we were talking about millennials. Well, all of a sudden, he enters the picture and I said, “Brian.” His name is Brian. I said, “Brian, you’re a millennial.” He goes, “No, I’m not.” I said, “Well, you’re 34. You’re out on that millennial age bracket,” and he said, “No, I’m not.” He’s like, “Millennials is a mindset.” He’s like, “My mind is in the previous generation.” Depending on your upbringing and myself included, I’m 34, and my upbringing … My father was from a small farm town in Iowa so it was very blue collar. It was very grounded. Being on that cusp, sometimes it is a mentality. We’ll get into that a little more detailed here shortly.
Here’s an interesting statistic. The number 1 reason millennials leave companies is they don’t feel valued or respected. I would say that’s a good old-fashioned Oscar Mayer Baloney because here’s the reality. We all know that if you operate businesses or if you have peers in business, you will know that when somebody doesn’t feel valued or respected, they’re going to look the other way anyway. If somebody in your organization does not feel valued or respected this is the most common … One of the top 2 or 3 reasons why people leave companies, anyway. That statistic is not just for millennials. That transcends all generations, l believe.
Today, we’re going to look at some key truths about millennials and then some applications for each of those truths. I’m hoping that it will be helpful for everyone as we progress in the marketplace. By the way, we’re going to look at it from a marketplace facet and then also from a mission field facet. I do not want to assume that they are mutually exclusive by any stretch. Marketplace and mission field are mutually inclusive. They ought to be combined and merged, and we ought to walk in our purpose whether we’re focusing on saving hearts for Christ or growing our business for Christ. Amen? Okay.
I think that this will hopefully help you gain a leg up in the marketplace maybe understanding millennials, but also and most importantly, against the enemy and social pressures to win hearts for millennial generations. Here we go. We’re going to start with the marketplace. I believe this picture embodies the millennial generation. If you looked into a lounge at a college or maybe a home group or a bible study with youth this is what you would expect to see. You got an iPad, a computer, an iPod or a cellphone. Some may have an earbud and listening to music. That’s called an earbud, by the way. That’s a terminology for that. She’s got headphones on and she’s zoned out.
This is very common depiction of what the millennial generation looks like. I don’t have notes printed for you. By the way, if you want the outline for this or the PowerPoint, I’m glad to submit that to Jim and Mike and we can get that on to you. Okay? Here’s the first truth. Millennials are not all the same. As you start to hear more and more, you’re going to hear the media, you’re going to hear studies all say that the millennial generation is the millennial generation that, and there are stereotypes that exist just like every other generation. That’s the first truth.
Millennials can possess all of the same attributes of every other staff member. For instance, some staff members are hardworking, some are lazy. Some are motivated, some are entitled. Some are enthusiastic, some are flat. Would you agree with that? That’s any business anywhere in the marketplace you’re going to find that.
Here’s an application to this truth. I would encourage you to refine your hiring process to make sure that you’re picking the right attributes to begin with. Refine your hiring process so that you’re looking for the same qualities, whether they’re 60 years old or 20 years old. You’re looking for some of the same qualities and attributes, but don’t see them as all the same because they’re not. We could all converse in the same room and I have unique personality characteristics, so does Jim, so does Eric, so does Larry, so does Mike. We’re all going to be a little unique, but you can still hire the qualities you want to hire. Then practice different ways to motivate them. Okay?
For instance, I have an example here. One example might be for motivation. With the millennial generation, consider using videos or other media to portray stories. Millennials like to hear stories because they can relate and they like to be motivated. For instance, what we’ve done in some of our staff meetings, our monthly staff meetings, is we’ll take a company like … Who did we feature one time? Nautique boats, Ski Nautique it’s a high-end boat manufacturer.
They have Kingdom missions that they execute within their business very practically, but we’ll focus on key aspects of customer service and we’ll share a video about that business so they can see and feel it, and sort of strike a cord with them to help encourage them to implement some of the these things you’re thinking about. Think about stories or media applications, videos, as ways to motivate the millennial generation.
Here’s a second truth. Millennials want to be trained. Okay? They want to be trained. This is the terminology that I use … I’m sort of guilty because I don’t want to be disrespectful or condescending, but you hear people say teach old dogs new tricks, right? You’ve heard that sort of terminology. Figuratively speaking, old dogs are reluctant to learn new tricks. That’s not always the case, but it can be. Millennials are all about learning new tricks because it helps them gain relevance and significance. They’re really yearning for that because when the media paints this picture of millennials, they want to have relevance. They want to be relevant to older generations and they want to have significance. They want to understand the reason, the process, the purpose and the value in what they’re doing. It’s our obligation to make sure that we’re helping them achieve those.
They like results and they want to know that they’re making an impact. They are very results oriented. They want to see the fruits of what they’re doing, whether it’s on a very small level, micro level, or a large scale level or macro level. Most millennials want feedback at least monthly. That’s a key point. I really want you to get that. Most millennials want feedback at least monthly.
Older generations, you can paint your own picture, but you hire somebody and you say … You basically expect that person to work hard when you hire them, right? Here’s your job outline. Here’s your description. Go. It’s not going to be the case with millennials. Why is that? Well, here’s the play on words. Why is the why. Here’s what I mean by that. The “why” is they want training. They want to know why they’re doing something. Why do they want to be trained? Because they want to know why they’re doing it. We have to be diligent in outlining the “why” for them. Okay?
Here’s an application. Expecting them just to work hard right out of the box and learn along the way will likely lead to disappointment. I’m just going to forewarn you. If you just expect them to plug into a job description and say, “Go get them,” you’re going to be set up for disappointment and so are they. Frequently scheduled evaluation sessions, at least once a month. You ought to be able to come into your office or keep them in close quarter and give them feedback. By the way folks, saying “good job” or “you need to do better,” that’s not really going to get it done either. You need to be constructive. You need to be critical in a positive way if you so wish, but you need to give details and fine print as to how they can progress.
Here’s another application. Give more frequent promotions with fewer increases. For instance, a millennial might feel blessed by a 50-cent or a quarter raise. It lets them know that there’s reward that they’re making a difference in their own lives and they want to progress. Entrepreneur Magazine wrote this quote, “Motivate them and make their work more meaningful and challenging than boomers made it for you.” When I say boomers, who am I talking about? Who are they talking about? The baby boomer generation, right? They say, “Motivate the millennials and make their work more meaningful than the boomers made it for you.” This is talking about if you’re a baby boomer generation, that’s awesome. You guys have been awesome for transforming this nation post-war era. If you’re not a baby boomer, this applies to you.
Reading this shocked me because I realized we used to have staff meetings, and I would do all these creative and innovative things to create motivation for our staff members. Some of our technicians were in their mid-40s and I would look over and they would be glazed in the eyes and long in the face. I’m like, “What am I doing wrong?” I’d look over here and I’d see these young millennials, they’d been on the edge of their seat leaning forward like, “Show me more.” It really was true. For that generation, we really need to motivate and encourage them, and find ways to creatively inspire them.
Forbes recently published an article that said, “The secret to managing millennials could be summed up in one word: Coaching.” Forbes said they can be summed up in one word: Coaching. Study shows that millennials … I’m going to read this verbatim real quickly. “The study shows that millennials want and do well with feedback and comparatively speaking lots of it. They crave and respond to a good positive coach who can make all the difference in their success. Millennials told us they want more feedback from their managers. Most millennials want feedback at least monthly. Whereas, non-millennials are comfortable with feedback less often. Overall, millennials want feedback 50% more than any other employee.” Interesting.
Okay, moving on here. Truth number 3. Millennials want growth. They want growth. It’s ingrained in who they are. Maybe you’ve heard the hype about millennials working 20 different jobs. Before I knew what a millennial was, all I heard people were saying was how millennials were going to work at least 20 jobs on average during their career. Can you imagine that? Has anybody here worked one job for the most of their post collegiate career? Maybe 2 or 3, or 5 or something like that, but 20? That’s astounding. They say the millennials work 20 different jobs in their career.
Here’s the reality. Many of them will work a vast number of jobs during their career, but this is mostly for owners or managers who are not willing to accept change. Okay? If you’re not willing to accept change, the odds are you’re going to lose them. Here’s an application for you. Create models or ladders so that they can see a path to success. Some of the old like ladders, climb the ladder, corporate ladders, and things got squashed and flattened during the ‘90s era, but I think bringing some of those back and let them see a pathway to success. Because folks, if you don’t create that path, they’re going to seek it elsewhere. If you don’t give them room for growth and let them see where that growth is going to be manifested, it’s high likely that you’ll lose them.
All right, truth number 4. Millennials want flexibility. This is a key one because I think this might be the hardest area for us to change as business owners. Older generations, this is a key one. I hope you’ll take this to heart. You might ask yourself. How in the world can I be more flexible than I already am? I’m already giving you a retirement plan. I’m already giving you 2 weeks paid vacation. I’m already giving you money through Friday hours. By the way, this isn’t articulated by my thoughts and notions. This is an aggregate, accumulation of what I studied and read. Baby boomers were a privileged grossly optimistic generation who is wealthier, active and more physically fit than the World War era generation. If you’re a boomer and you can look back a little bit, that should be generally true.
Generation X, you’re next. They were hippies, materialistic outcasts and disenfranchised proponents of change. Again, paraphrasing. Generation Y or millennials are no different and that they need earlier generations to meet their needs as well. Here’s the application. Find unique ways to motivate them. Find unique ways to achieve continuity between work and life. By the way guys, work/life balance, you heard this terminology, work/life balance it’s nonexistent for millennials because they’re intertwined for them. Their same application, their mindsets, their philosophy is … They intertwine between work and life. There’s none of this “I’m going to go 12 hours a day, Monday through Fridays, so that I can go home and be with my wife, and then on Saturdays I’ll work in the yard and Sundays I’ll have a Sabbath and I’ll go to church.” It’s all intertwined for the millennial generation. We need to find unique ways to involve them.
Here’s a suggestion. You can write this down if you want, and this is not on this slide. For continuity between work and life for millennials, 2 ideas. One, consider plans where they might be able to work from home. I know it’s pretty radical for a lot of us. Consider ways that they might be able to work from home. Second thing would be give them more time to do the things they enjoy outside of work.
I can tell you, we have the guys under 30 in our organization. They love snowboarding and they love dirt biking. It’s cool. Get outside and be active. Don’t play video games all day, right? For instance, say, “Okay, guys. I want you or so on and so on I want you to take a Wednesday off. I want you to go up snowboarding.” They love that because everybody is up on Saturday snowboarding. It takes forever to get there and forever to get back, but they go on a Wednesday? Maybe they can tell one of their buddies, “Hey, take a Wednesday off. Let’s go up.” They get to brag about that. As soon as you get them bragging to their friends about what they can have in your business, it’s a win. Okay?
All right, truth number 5. Millennials want to make an impact. They want to make an impact. Millennials embrace social responsibility as one of their core values, and they also want to be more involved in decision making. This shouldn’t be news to any of us, but don’t you agree we should be doing good works in our community anyway because it’s biblical and part of our kingdom minded stewardship? Would you agree with that? There’s a noble obligation to fulfill community works anyways, just as a Christ follower in business. This shouldn’t be anything new to any of us, but I’ll tell you what. Millennials? They really take this seriously. Social responsibility for a millennial generation is huge. It’s a major deal for them.
Here’s the application. Involve them in charitable giving or ask them how you can help give to a cause of their choice. One of my mentors, Wes Gardner, they have what they call Prime Days. One day a month, their staff, they literally make them take a day off and they go serve in the community, whether it’s repairing somebody’s roof, serving a widow, feeding at a homeless shelter or whatever. It doesn’t have to always be a charity or a mission, a charity organization, but they make them go out and serve.
Something else you can do is … This is a small thing that’s very practical. Pick small and trivial yet important decisions to get their ideas on it in your business, even if it’s like a second month hire. Ask them a question, get their feedback, and then do what they said. Pick something small. It’s not going to make or break you if they decide something radical, but do it because it makes them feel like they’re making an impact in your business and then you get buy-in. It’s called buy in it from the employee, which is very valuable. How are we doing on time?
Now, I want to focus specifically on the mission field. Now, we’re talking about winning hearts for Christ in the millennial generation. Sounds pretty daunting, right? Because a lot of us and I’m included, we think, “How am I going to be relevant to the youth of today?” I’m old fashioned. I don’t have an iPad or whatever the case may be. I’m stereotyping, but I want to focus on the mission field here for just a few moments.
Here’s the truth. Biblical truth transcends generations. How do we know that? Well, look at Psalm 100:5. It says, “For the Lord is good and His love endures forever. His faithfulness continues through all generations.” It doesn’t say through my generation or the baby boomer, or the World War era. It says all generations. We’re talking about from like Moses to future Moses. Tribulation, right? Revelations. It transcends all generations.
The keys to be effective in saving millennial souls, generally speaking, are four-fold: Be inspiring, be truthful, be loving and be transparent. By the way, I will venture to say if you applied these principles of sharing the gospel with anybody, you might have a reasonable level of success. Be inspiring, be truthful, be loving, and be transparent. Here’s the application. Understand what society is teaching as acceptable and lovingly offer the counterpart. Help them reach their purpose, a God-driven purpose.
I’ll tell you a story. For years doing youth ministry, I thought it looked like, “Okay, kids. Sit down,” or on Sunday mornings, “All right, everybody. Get in your seats. Today, we’re going to talk about purity. Okay? This, this. Do as I say. I have this conviction.” It’s sort of I’m imparting me onto them. Now, they want relationships. They want role models, but here’s what we learned. About 2-1/2 years ago, we changed the model with which we taught. What we did was we tried to make scripture as black and white as possible and let them make the decision on what it says.
For instance, instead of saying Psalm 100, instead of me saying, “Okay, guys … How can I apply this? The Lord is good and His love endures forever. It always is going to endure.” I’m really making it about me and about trying to make it subjective. Make it objective. Maybe that’s what I’m trying to say. For instance, we talk about homosexuality, right? We talk about this topic and here’s why? It’s because many of us in the kingdom as Christians, we’re afraid to approach it. The longer time goes on, we get a little bit more trepidatious about approaching that subject. Why? Because anti-cultural is being cultural now. It’s becoming cultural. The things like being anti-cultural, being against culture, is now becoming cultural. If you can stand on stage at the Grammy’s in front of 15 million people and say something radical and you’re a pop star, the odds of that sticking in the media and the society are very high.
We would start teaching them, say, let’s just read through some scriptures. You point them and you say, “Is this black and white or is this gray?” We don’t want it to be gray. We want it to be black and white and we want them to pose their own decisions based on clearly what God’s word says. We used to understand what society is teaching. We would lovingly offer the counterpart because, by the way, if you just beat them over the head with a bible and this is probably for everybody, it’s not going to work. They need to understand God’s word, but they also need to understand in a loving way what culture says is right isn’t always right. It’s an everyday thing for them. They’re being told that wearing skimpy clothing and selling your appearance is all that matters. Well, it’s not and we all know that here.
Millennials need mentors. They really do. You know who the mentors should be? Everybody in here. Interesting stat here. Seven out of 10 who leave the church after high school say they didn’t have close friendships in church and 9 out of 10 who left said they didn’t have a mentor. This is like a Barna Group stat. That’s crazy to me. Think about it. If this is reality, maybe it’s just coincidence that 7 out of 10 who left the church after high school said they didn’t have a close friendship. How would those stats change if they did have a close friendship? Think about that. Nine out of 10 who left said they didn’t have a mentor. I’m going to be presumptuous here. If mentoring a millennial meant that 9 out of 10 more would stay in the church after high school, wouldn’t that be a good investment? Think about that. Just mentoring.
I don’t know what that means. You have to ask the Lord what that means to you. If it just means going up to a millennial every day in church just finding one and just introducing yourself, and asking if you can pray for them or asking what’s going on in their life or what school they go to, starts there just like sharing the gospel. You got to start somewhere, right? What do you know about God? Have you ever been to church? Have you heard this name, Jesus? When somebody says they’re spiritual, what do you think that means? There’s all these leading questions. Okay?
Here’s the application. 1st Timothy 4:13 says, “Devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to preaching and teaching.” It’s pretty clear, right? Paul was writing to Timothy, his millennial mentee and he’s saying, “Keep teaching. Keep preaching. Keep pouring into this church,” and he’s talking to a millennial of his time. Teach them scripture. Share stories about what God is going in your business and how you got there. Teach them stewardship principles that are biblical and can translate practically. Teach them to share their faith with others.
Here’s a killer statistic for you. How about this one? A good friend of mine is Greg Stier, founder of Dare 2 Share. Are you all familiar with Greg or Dare 2 Share ministry? Okay. Dare 2 Share is a ministry that devotes their sole focus to teen evangelism. That’s all Greg Stier does all day long and he is a very high energy, passionate man. He said that they have learned that if you can get a youth sharing their faith with others that goes hand in hand with having a mentor. The odds go about like 80% that they’ll remain in their faith. You can teach them to share their faith with others they will stay in their walk with Christ. We need to make sure that we’re helping them do that, okay?
Here’s the final truth. Millennials can sense fakeness and forged concern. We learned this early on in youth ministry. You better be real. I want to say this lovingly. You got to be able to connect. You got to genuinely care when you talk to them because they just feel like there’s some older guy trying to be a hero. They can sense that. When you try to teach them biblical truth … I read a stat. This is aggravating to me, but it also said that if you read your scriptures in front of them, they’re not going to want that. They’re not going to want to read the bible if they just see you in public reading. I’m like, “That’s really troubling to me.” I also think it’s a Barna stat, but it doesn’t matter. What they want to see is they want to see that you connect with them. They want to see that you genuinely care about them. Is that the word? I’m looking for no genuineness and they’ll turn and go the other way.
Because think about it. On social media, Facebook. How many of you have a Facebook account? Okay. On Facebook, they’re seeing videos after videos after videos and it’s like if you’re going to become an anchorperson, you study and you watch anchorperson videos of the greats. This probably can apply to anything sports. I played sports professionally for 5 years. I used to watch film of the greatest football players over and over, and over again and I see what it looks like. Once they have a picture of what being genuine looks like or being relatable looks like, they can see it from a mile away if it’s not that because they’re exposed to so much in terms of video and stories, and so on.
Here we go. Being upfront and honest as well as loving will cultivate the best relationships. That’s 101 but let’s just be reminded of that. Here’s the application. Walk the walk. We all should be doing that, anyway, right? Billy Graham said, “Always share the gospel. When necessary, use words.” Okay? Walk the walk. Make Jesus relevant and integrated within all areas of life. Keep them entrenched in missions. Matthew 28:19 says, we all should know this, “Go and make disciples of all nations, and then tie your good works to the bible.” If you’re serving and you’re doing something to bless somebody, tell a millennial why you’re doing that. Let them relate that in their mind and let them see that it’s genuine in your reason for doing this.
Lastly, I would encourage you with this. Don’t give up and never stop praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” God’s will for us is that we would never stop praying. When you feel like you’re trying and … Whether it’s in your business or in your church, or maybe your mission, when you don’t think you’re getting through, don’t stop praying. Right? A mentor told me years ago it’s like when you feel that kind of ugliness from somebody, you feel like they don’t like you or whatever it is, we all have challenges in the marketplace. We feel like a peer just doesn’t see at eye with us. Pray for them and immediately you start to feel that burden lifted, but don’t stop praying.
I’ll share you a story quickly. Marketplace Chaplains works with our organization. Yesterday, I overheard with our youngest member who is 21, his name is Dustin. Don gets to talk to Dustin about his family, about his work life, and so on and so forth. Well, Dustin has ongoing concerns with his mother. I got to witness Don employing this yesterday a lot of the things we’re teaching here. On the way out, Don says, “Oh, by the way, Dustin. How’s your mother?” Dustin says, “Well, she’s still struggling.” She’s got, I think, MS or something like that. She’s got a debilitating disease. Don says, “Well, I have good news.” He said, “What’s that?” He said, “God loves you and He loves your mom as well.” He said, “Do you know what a relationship with God looks like?” Dustin said, “Yeah.” He said, “What does it look like?” He said, “Well, you just ask Him to be your Savior.” Dustin knew this. He goes to church every so often, but it was just cool for me. Don, I don’t know how old you are, but you’re not 35, right? I’m guessing.
He’s an older generation relating. Really, as long as it comes from the heart and you genuinely care about them, we should be able to really bless this next generation. If you look at scriptures, God is going to raise up leaders in every generation, just like He did Joshua, just like he did Timothy and all through the bible. If you’ll pray with me, we’ll close this and we’ll ask God to continue to work.
Father, there’s a lot of statistics. There are things that we don’t really understand. While some might say the proof is in the pudding, Lord, when we see a heart changed for Jesus, when we see lives transformed, when we see an 18-year-old keep their faith through college and enter into adulthood as a Christ follower, that’s a manifestation of Your power and Your will. We abide by Your word. We thank You for Your scriptures which are true from the beginning of time to the end of time. We thank You for an opportunity to seize relationships with the millennial generation and those that have come before and will come after.
God, inspire us to be genuine. Inspire us to be flexible. Inspire us to see in those cracks, those little crevices within our business and also within the mission field that will allow us to make an impact for Christ and for the kingdom. God, Matthew 6:33 is on our hearts here at KBA and we pray today that as we seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, Lord, You will meet our needs, but we also believe that would fall over into changing the hearts of millennials and to teaching them great stewardship principles and practices. God, fill our hearts with energy. God, let us not believe that we are so different that we cannot relate to people of other genders, ages and even religions. Father, You are superior. You’re sovereign. We love You. We thank You for Your chance to learn and grow under Your hand and Your covering, and pray this all in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Jim: Bless you. Go! The millennials. Wow. Not only was that a great talk, but you nailed the time. It’s 7:59. Yeah, 7:59. We have a few minutes for questions and I thought that was so meaningful and has a lot of meat to it. For sure, we want to get those slides. I want to get the slides for my business and we’ll send them out, right? Yeah. We had a millennial. He wants back in but … A great young man. Just an incredible young man. Great personality, great attitude, incredibly smart. He was accepted [inaudible 00:37:59], and we put him to work and he just had difficulty showing up to work. Then one day, he didn’t show up to work at all and he came back like a couple weeks later. He says, “I’m back.” I’m like … I’m still dealing with that. I need training, not to mention that I have 5 children who are in that category. Not only from a work standpoint, from a relational standpoint with my older children. I’m looking forward to putting some of this to practice. Anyways, I’d like to open up for some questions.
Speaker 1: Well, I have 4 millennial children and what you said is a very … Amazingly accurate, just talking about the interest in social, maybe justice or yeah, possibilities. Also, as a missionary kid, I grew up in 3 different countries: US, Brazil, Portugal it’s an increasing global society. My question is, does millennial apply to pretty much all countries would you be able to say or is it mostly those who have more … like social media, all the Internet kind of stuff?
Brian: Well, that’s a really good question. To reiterate that, does the millennial generation go outside of the boundaries of America, say? The answer is yes. Although there are cultural differences in different countries around the world … I’m not an expert on that, but I can tell you if you go to Russia or Africa, or China, you will see that there are cultural differences and maybe some of the upbringings. They don’t necessarily have the post-World War generation, the baby boomer generation, and so on and so forth. Here’s what they do. Here’s what’s contiguous and congruent, is that Internet, social media is the same. You can log on to your Facebook account in Brazil and you could see the exact same things you can see here. Information and their ability to plug into the Internet, that is consistent. You will see a lot of similarities.
Now, whether or not they have trouble getting the work on time … By the way, we do experience that. We try to come up with some creative ways to combat that, but yes, I do believe that some similarities are equal amongst all generations. I think generally, you’ll see that. A lot of the social responsibility of millennials will apply in other countries because they’re seeing like … Think about the ice bucket challenge. Do you remember this? You pour a bucket of ice water over your head to raise money for … Forgive me. What is it? ALS, yeah. Lou Gehrig’s. Everybody in the world is seeing those videos, right? They see that they’re doing something fun and creative to raise money for a good cause. Well, it’s going to leak over into other countries, I believe. I’m glad to share a couple of other questions if you want.
Mike: My question would be this. I’ve heard it said that the Gen X and boomer generations live to work, workaholics and live the work. Whereas, Gen Y works to live. That comes with that mentality if I’m working just enough to be able to go up and ski for the whole winter. Well, you also said in the presentation that they don’t have a work/life balance, meaning everything is just “I’ll just go fly by the seat of my pants.” That made me think of the talk we heard down at the CCBA, the integrated life, Ken Allred’s book. We as Kingdom Business people and business owners should have that integrated life of we don’t have church 1 week end and business during the week, and then church and then business. It should be all integrated.
Reaching the Gen Y generation and teaching them kingdom approaches should be … They should get that very easily because of the way they think. Now, they just have to make one little easy tweak. Do you see that in your 8 years working with the youth to where maybe if someone got … Maybe they got turned on to really turn it on spiritually it became something where they just integrated it into their life because they don’t really have an on and an off switch.
Brian: That’s a really good point. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t improperly articulate that point. Most of us, we work really hard. When we’re at work, we’re sold out for work. Right? We’ll get ourselves caught up working at however long of a day and then we have to turn that switch off. What Mike is saying and to reiterate that point is that they don’t really have to worry about that on and off switch. For instance, not being on time. When you go to work and you’re worried about being there, and you’re trying to get there early, you’re flipping that work switch. Right? You go, “I got to get to work on time?” Because they don’t really have to worry about the fluctuation between the two, it’s like they’ll be at work and they’ll be thinking about snowboarding or motocross, or getting home to check their social media. Whatever it is.
The creative ways to sort of combat that … Let me think. By the way, we’re going through a process now of interviewing our millennial staff. I ask them literally, “What matters most to you right now?” One said, “I want to get out of debt.” Ironically, one said that, “I want to buy a house,” and there is sort of a material application. You’ll find ways to figure out. If something matters to them … Again, if they want to work from home, that’s what their friends are doing, then you might have to be flexible and you might have to say, “What battles can I choose to fight here and which ones can I not?”
Being on time in our organization is a mandatory thing. You have to be on time. By the way, 5 minutes early. We teach them how to do that. By the way, if you do this, then X. You can have Wednesday off. If you’re on time every day for a month, maybe you get that Wednesday off to go snowboarding. A brisk reward thing. Hopefully, I’ve addressed that, Mike, but you had a great point. You’re exactly right. It is all meshed together for them, so if you can teach them and show the gospel in the same mindset, that auto translate to wherever they go, they should be programmed to hopefully share the gospel. I think we have seen some of that and it’s always tough.
By the way, one of my greatest burdens in youth ministry was what happens when they graduate and how do we keep them locked in to Jesus in college. It’s really, really tough. Are there any other questions? I don’t know to Jeff if we have time for one more. Okay.
Speaker 2: It seems to me like that we’re always talking about these things when we’re well into the Generation X. Generation Z is coming up sometime. How can you see signs coming to where that you can start preparing how to deal with those?
Brian: It’s kind of hard because we’re talking about 14 and under. By the way, my wife and I are expecting our first baby next week so I’m going to be giving … Yeah, thank you. We’re going to be having a child that’s going to be fit right into the middle of that Gen Z generation. I think the only thing we can really do right now … How much is a 13-year-old developed? How many signs can we see with a 13-year-old or under? Here’s what you can now, is look ahead. Just like in business, be visionary. Think about all they’re going to know now. It’s social media. It’s Internet. It’s electronics. Right? All they’re going to know is that insert the blank. Society thinks that insert the blank is okay, as opposed to what God’s word says. That’s all they’re going to know because it’s already started and now they’re being born into it.
I don’t know if I can answer that question exactly, but I think if you look ahead and you find out what are you seeing on a daily basis, what are you hearing, what’s a common characteristic in the marketplace, they’re going to only know that from the day they’re born and then things are going to evolve from there. Take a look at the snapshot on time right now and sample it. Write down as many things as you can identify about what’s going on right now and that’s all they’re going to know. I think it’s to be determined on that. I wish I could share something more about that.