Earlier this spring, INCM conducted a survey of Millennials who are parents and would identify themselves as disciples of Jesus. Our purpose was to gain an understanding of how this unique group of parents was processing life, faith, parenting, and their relationship with the Church in a post-2020 world.
We were encouraged and deeply challenged by the results of this study, and will be sharing what we have learned along with its implications over the course of the next month with the INCM community.
Pew Research has established the generational span for Millennials to cover 1981-1996. By this definition, the oldest Millennials are 40 this year. They have entered the workforce en masse – making up the majority of it as a generation collectively (Pew Research Center & Fry, 2018).
You might have a direct report who is a Millennial… or you might report to one. They have gotten married, many have rented or purchased homes, and have started families… which means the parents of young children coming to your church are very likely Millennials.
These Millennials that are coming to your church with their kids are who we decided to get supremely curious about. We had questions like:
- Who are they, really?
- What do Millennial parents with a faith background think about the Church in a post-2020 world?
- What concerns and hopes are they navigating in today’s culture?
- What do they want for their child’s relationship with the Lord and with the Church?
- What will they commit to when it comes to the church and discipleship?
These types of questions and their answers are what we will share with you this month, as well as the three key areas that will influence the depth to which millennial parents of faith will engage with your church community.
To preview some of the content that will be rolling out to you in the coming weeks, let’s take a look at some of the responses that helped us understand what they want for their child and their child’s relationship with Jesus.
If you asked a Millennial parent of faith if their faith is important to them and influences how they parent, you would receive an enthusiastic “Highly Agree” from almost 92% of them. And if you asked them if it was important to them that their child grow to know, love, and serve Jesus, almost 100% would tell you an enthusiastic yes!
But here’s where it gets tough… Even though the majority would say “YES – faith is important to me and influences how I parent,” only 23% are making Bible reading a regular part of their day.
The Millennial family is busy (we knew that), but they often struggle to prioritize basic spiritual practices that support a thriving relationship with Jesus. (And just to prepare you, busyness is not the main reason they’re not prioritizing spiritual practices.)
Herein lies the rub for Millennial parents of faith… they want their children to love Jesus, but most of them don’t fully understand what discipleship means or looks like for themselves.
And as sad as that might be to read, let’s not miss that this fact might very well be the reason most of these parents are continuing to show up at church with their kids, in spite of the caution and concern a Millennial might feel in relationship with the church (most Millennials of faith experience a “low hum of tension” when it comes to their personal experience of church). Those of them with kids know they need help and crave a community that is real.
We are excited to share more of this research and supporting resources with you in the weeks ahead. Be sure you’re receiving INCM’s emails, and that you’re following our Facebook page. Content will be showing up in both places for you.
If you are an INCM Member, you’ll be receiving an exclusive set of resources in your member portal. Stay tuned!
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