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The Millennials

Who Are They?

The Millennial generation

What, exactly, is the Millennial generation?

The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around

the turn of the 21st century. The earliest proposed birthdate for Millennials is 1976 and the latest

2004. Suddenly, Millennials are everywhere according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the

number of American born between 1982 and 2000 stands at 83 million, representing a quarter of

the country’s population. Their ranks also exceed baby boomers, the 75.4 million American born

between 1946 and 1964. There is about 76 million Millennials in the United States (based on

research using the years 1978-2000. There is a great deal of variation from one individual to

another within any generational group. Nevertheless, the particular environment for any

generation affects those individuals in ways that are observable as broad tendencies. The

significant impact this population is having on the church is undeniable and will continue to grow.

A Snapshot of Millennials

Millennials grew up in an electronics-filled and increasingly online and socially-networked world.

They are the generation that has received the most marketing attention. As the most ethnically

diverse generation, Millennials tend to be tolerant of difference. Having been raised under the

motto “follow your dreams” and being told they were special, they tend to be confident.

Millennials are the last

generation born in the 20th

century. Twenty percent have at

least one immigrant parent. 50

percent of Millennials consider

themselves politically

unaffiliated and 29 percent consider themselves religiously unaffiliated. Although they comprise

20% of the U.S. population 18% of churches in the U.S. have no Millennials attending. Even more

churches are experiencing alarming shrinkage in their millennial membership. In a few short

years Millennials will (or will not) be leading your church. Space can enhance or inhibit Millennials

ability to engage with a church community, encounter God and feel at home pursuing their

purpose. Is there any room? Engaging in daily mission, understanding and living out their calling

in the kingdom is a necessary priority for Millennial participation.

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