June 23, 2016
Where were you at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 1999? If you were like most of us, you were ringing in not only a new year, but a new millennium. You were celebrating with friends and family and perhaps watching the famous ball drop in New York’s Times Square.
Midnight came, of course—and as the echoes of our celebrations have faded since then, that moment still can be seen as a marker of far-reaching cultural significance.
Millennials, the generation that has come of age in this new era of booming technology and rapid globalization, are deeply shaped by these cultural changes. Stereotypes and pop wisdom about their habits and foibles abound, but one thing is certain—their importance as a bridge generation during a remarkable time in history is tough to overstate.
The growing recognition of that importance has led to them as a coveted demographic. All kinds of institutions, from tech to government, have had to reckon with how to engage this population of emerging adults effectively. Churches are no exception. A quick Google search reveals high levels of angst for religious leaders, as they seek to link this generation to those who have gone before.
In partnership with Aspen Group and the Cornerstone Knowledge Network (CKN), Barna Group undertook a landmark study to profile Millennial perceptions and perspectives on culture, ministry, leadership, and facilities. The full CKN/Barna Making Space for Millennials report offers an in-depth look at this fascinating and strategic generation.
Our new executive summary distills the full CKN/Barna report for a simple but incisive overview of the study. It also includes discussion questions for you and your church leadership team to process together.
As Millennials (born between 1984 and 2002) enter adulthood, they are navigating familiar territory for any generation—the key life questions of career, family, community, and faith. But changing social realities and technology have shaped them into a generation stretched between many cultural and personal tensions. Designing worship spaces for this generation needs to be done with strategy, beauty, and clarity of purpose.
The Making Space for Millennials study helped deepen our understanding on at least four key points: visual clarity, respite, nature and modularity. As the chapters in this executive summary reveal, there is much we can learn about young adults and their desire to connect with God and others in meaningful ways.
You can download the free executive summary here.