beginning to tire of hearing about all this “millennial” speak. I don’t
know if my mom and dad’s generation spoke so often about the “Gen X-ers” or
not, but I sure don’t remember it. I think, in part, we have so hyped up this
terminology, that is has become nothing more than a marketing gimmick for
books, lectures, seminars, and the like and the revenue that come along with
Make no mistake, the world is different now than when I was a young person, but
the world was different from when my mom and dad were young people, too.
And the world will be different for the next generation. We act like
“millennials” have just arrived on the planet from some far off galaxy and know
nothing about planet Earth. The fact that we continue to lump everyone born during
those years (and no one can agree the exact years, some say 1980-2002) is the
easiest way to build obstacles when it comes to communicating to them.
Baby boomers had the television, Gen X had the personal computer, and
Millennials have the smart phone/tablets. Baby boomers main form of
communication was the telephone, Gen X was the email system, and Millennials
has become social media: Instagram and SnapChat.
student pastor for many years, along with producing a nationally syndicated
radio show for students for fifteen years, I’ve come to a certain realization
about young people. With all of the differences generationally and
technologically, there are some simple truths that can be used to communicate with
this age group.
1-Be real. That means be yourself, not someone you aren’t. Young people see
enough “plastic people” in their every day lives.
2-Don’t sugarcoat the issues. Be honest. It’s possible to speak truth and still
make an impression. In fact, even if they don’t like the truth, they’ll
probably respect you for telling it to them. Eventually, if not immediately.
you are wrong. I already know you aren’t perfect—so do the millenials.
4-Listen as much as you want to be listened to.
5-Make them feel like their ideas matter. Why? Because they do.