Over the past year I’ve done something incredibly stupid. I’ve written a book for a generation that doesn’t care about the subject matter.
Countless times older generation Christians and pastors have shared their concern with me over my generation’s (Millennials) lack of concern about holy living. And in large part, they are right. Holiness, as a pursuit of Christians, has been ignored and abandoned.
But I wrote a book about holiness because it is God’s calling on the life of a Christian. Paul says that, “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
God is making us holy. We’ve just tried really hard to ignore Him.
Despite this lack of care about holiness among Millennials, I believe we still need to challenge ourselves to draw near to God. We need people around us who encourage us to allow the holiness of God to further infiltrate its way into our lives.
What are the keys to leading Millennials toward holy living?
1. Listen Without Judgment
Listening also implies a first step: reaching out. In order to listen you have to engage Millennials. You have to step into their world or invite them into yours. I find this doesn’t happen naturally, so step outside your comfort zone.
Most Millennials I know have a past they aren’t proud of (including myself). The worst thing a person can possibly do is pour salt on a wound.
The people who make a difference in our lives listen to our stories, they don’t judge us. Listen, support, encourage, instead of adding onto the pile of guilt they likely already have built up.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is often defined as seeking to understand before being understood. It’s a sacrificing of our need to be heard, to instead understand the perspective of others. It’s placing others before ourselves.
Many Millennials leave church and abandon God because the older generations are holding onto the power they’ve gained through the years. Millennials rarely feel valued and rarely feel heard, so they either jump to a church full of people their age or just start watching football on Sundays instead.
Rather than sacrificing a place of prominence, we often choose to hoard what has been entrusted to us.
Seek to understand before you are understood.
3. Challenge Us
I get the sense that many of us are scared to challenge the fellow brothers and sisters in our lives. Granted, we need to build genuine relationship and trust with people first, but everyone needs people to come around them, to challenge them toward a new way of living.
Someone told me recently, “I don’t want to say that because I might scare them away.” I replied by asking, “Do they need to hear this truth?” The obvious answer was yes.
All of us need people around us, who love us enough, to challenge us.