discipleship

The Seven Core Values of Millennials

  • 7 September 2017
  • Geoff Kullman

Any missionary will tell you that in order to effectively speak Jesus into a culture, you first have to understand that culture. And the culture that millennials have grown up in has changed a lot, hasn't it? 

That's led to tons of churches, maybe one just like yours, that are struggling with young people leaving, frustrated that nothing they've tried has worked, and worried if their church can survive this trend.

That's why my team developed The Seven Core Values of Millennials training. Because we know that by helping you build a broader understanding of Millennials, you will be able to build better ministries for Millennials.

I'm going to present the Seven Core Values of Millennials at the Equip 2017 Study Conference, but I have chosen three values on focus on here. 

​Core Value #1 – Diversity

If you've been frustrated by any aspect of the millennial generation, particularly as a pastor or church leader, chances are it may have something to do with their mindset (or preference) for diversity.

But the reason for millennials valuing diversity is simple:

They are the first generation to come of age in a truly global world.  Whereas previous generations had limited (albeit expanding) access to information and opinion, millennials grew up with the Internet... limitless access to information and opinion.

(And for younger millennials... those in their late-teens to mid-twenties... they literally grew up with the Internet in their pockets!)

Unlike Builders, Boomers, or even Gen Xers, the millennial generation has never known a world limited to one single, trusted source of information. Instead, they have always been exposed to choice, relativity, variety, and globalization.

You can't blame a fish for living in water... even though it seems like a horribly silly idea to the rest of us! Neither can you (or should you) blame a millennial for seeing the world through a diverse, globalized lens.

It is literally the only environment they've EVER known!

In other words, understanding the core value of diversity begins with the recognition that we cannot assign a moral value to the lens through which people see the world. 

Core Value #2 - Entrepreneurship 

It may go against some of the (unfortunately pervasive) stereotypes about the millennial generation, but they are, without a shadow of a doubt, THE most entrepreneurial generation EVER!

Listening for God's Voice

  • 1 September 2017
  • MinistryLift blogger

From Genesis to Revelation, God our Creator is revealed as One who is interested in relationship with people. One early example of this is the relationship between Moses and Yahweh. We read in Exodus that God and Moses spoke as friends—face to face. Some call it intimacy with God, friendship, or communion. Part of this intimate relationship between God and people is the experience of hearing God's voice. The Bible is filled with examples of how people hear God. Variety as to how they hear abounds. Some have dreams; others have visions; some hear God at work in the circumstances of their lives; some are prompted by the Spirit in their hearts; others experience God in and through creation in alignment with what the Scriptures say in Psalm 19—the heavens declare the glory of God.

When my wife Evy and I wrote Your Ears Will Hear we were increasingly aware of how people around the world were hearing God in similar ways. The same common ways that are found in Scripture continue to be ways people are hearing God today. We identified five common ways, but there might be a hundred and five. We’re not trying to be exhaustive, but we are finding it helpful to bring these five to people's attention as they journey with God: 

  1. Listening to God through Scripture
  2. Listening to God at work around us in the circumstances of our lives
  3. Listening to God through our hearts
  4. Listening to God in silence and solitude (like Jesus did) out in nature
  5. Listening to God in community (God speaks to people through people)

The Scriptures describe—in one story after another—how people are guided by God. Whether it is "the counsel of the Lord" or "the word of the Lord" or "a gentle whisper" or "a voice" or other ways, God is communicating and He's given people "ears to hear". Promises abound throughout Scripture encouraging all believers of all ages to believe their ears will hear the voice of the Good Shepherd.

How does God speak to you? Are there common ways you have experienced God speaking to you over time? I’d love to hear from you (click here to contact me). 

Singing for Apprentices?!

  • 29 August 2017
  • MinistryLift blogger

"Why are you going to seminary to study worship? All a song leader needs to do is open the hymnal and choose 3 songs." 

My aunt said this to me just before my family and I moved to Eastern Mennonite Seminary in 1994. I was pursuing a church leadership degree with a focus on congregational worship and music. My wife and I have often chuckled about her words. Yet they stay with me for two reasons. First, I'm sad that my aunt didn't understand what I wanted to learn. Second, I think congregational singing is often an underappreciated means of forming one another as Jesus' apprentices. 

In November, Mennonite Brethren from across Canada will meet in Abbotsford for the biennial Equip Study Conference. This year's theme is "Transforming Discipleship." According to the preparatory materials, "A growing disciple is one who is being transformed in such a way that the deeds of Jesus, done in the power of Jesus, become an increasingly natural way of life." Simply put, a disciple is an apprentice of Jesus. 

According to Paul in the New Testament, believers gather regularly to build up the church and each other (1 Corinthians 14). Another writer teaches that believers meet to provoke each other to love and to do good deeds; they also meet to encourage each other (Hebrews 10:24-25). Since singing has been a part of Christian meetings since the church began (cf. Ephesians 5:19a), I'm prompted to ask, "How does singing build up the church? And how does singing train apprentices?"

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