The landscape of missions is constantly changing, but are we adjusting with it to remain as affective as possible? Do we adhere to the systems of previous generations at the expense of cultivating and empowering those who will carry global missions forward into the future?
As the approach to global missions evolves, heads now turn to the upcoming generation of millennials. While they are not perfect, there is gold to be found in those who will shape the future of the world as we know it. Here are just a few qualities that millennials bring to the table:
1. They long to be part of something bigger than them, full of meaning and purpose.
The whispers that all millennials want to do is stare at their phones and write Tweets all day long is not exactly true. Studies have shown that millennials want their jobs to have an impact on the world around them. They are more likely to find career fulfillment knowing their work makes a difference, even (if not especially) if a job requires something other than the standard 9-5. Which leads straight into the next point.
2. They enjoy everything “outside of the box”.
Millennials are driven by an engrained desire to be extraordinary, original, and different. They are unfazed by anyone who disapproves of stepping outside the box, especially regarding things like career and college. Longing for the extraordinary leads millennials away from the monotony of the mundane, security in repetition, and “the way things have always been done” in search of new adventures, new ways of making a living, and new solutions to the problems we all face.
3. They bring their own personalized passion.
The eagerness to set aside anything that would make them ordinary or unoriginal has resulted in a wide variety of different gifts, abilities, callings, and ministries that are so needed in global missions today. Rather than choosing a random ministry out of a hat, the passion they bring with them is often personalized, perhaps based off a past experience or loved one, which makes their motivation genuine and alive to them, resulting in less “burn out” or losing interest later.
As with any generation, there are weaknesses and oversights as well, like over-criticizing the previous generation’s wisdom, or launching into action too quickly without thinking through all repercussions. But God is aware of the times as they change, as well as the quirks, strengths, and weaknesses of all people He chooses to advance His kingdom from generation to generation.
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