I attended a Millennial Panel at Highland Baptist Church tonight (my church home). I wanted to talk about a few things that I found interesting… and a little silly.. but are all true enough! I wasn’t on the panel, but my friends (in order of the photo above) Bryan, Megan, fiance Steven, and Laura were! It was being hosted by our Young Adult Minister Emily and church friend Alecia. Over the last few weeks they’ve been exploring the different generations. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend all of them, but I was able to go to the one for the Millennials (Priorities…!).
They were asked several different questions which I’ll go through and give some of their answers.
- What cultural moments have most shaped your life and your worldview? They all gave great answers, but one stuck out… one I’ve thought about before that Steven gave. He mentioned about how he’s grown up and how we have only really known the world post 9/11. How we watch movies from pre-9/11 and how people would be there to greet you at the gates, walk you out to a plane, and how foreign of a concept that is. We only know high security travel. Long lines. And having to give plenty of time to get on a plane. Everyone else alluded to the same events shaping them as well.
- How has your faith changed as you have gotten older? The answers were similar but diverse in nature. Most of the panel were raised in religious families. Some in very conservatives homes, some not. Megan (who is only 19), talked about how she’s only known of a more progressive idea of Christianity because she’s grown up at Highland Baptist Church. Steven, on the other hand, grew up in a Southern Baptist home. Laura is an ordained minister and talked a bit about her call to be a minister, and how she came to want a deeper understanding of that. Bryan talked about how he moved a lot all his life (quoting that he’s lived in 40 different places in his lifetime), and how he hasn’t ever been settled enough to have a church home until now. With the exception of Megan, the other 3 talked about how their understanding has changed for various reasons to lead them to where they are… like education, but a lot talked about people. For example: having a Muslim friend changed their outlook, a gay friend, etc.
- What is something you don’t understand about other generations and how they do life? This was a fun one. Megan answered ‘Cursive writing’. She doesn’t understand it because she wasn’t taught it, and the whole crowd chuckled at it. Steven mentioned how he doesn’t understand other generations outlook on work (how many in other generations hate their jobs, do it for paycheck only, and in his experience have to go to a place to work from 8-5). He told a little story about how his mother has a hard time understanding how I work from home often, and how his job where he has to drive all over is perceived as ‘not a real job’. Megan also mentioned how she doesn’t understand NPR. This lead into a follow up question by our Pastor asking “Do any of you read the newspaper, an actual paper newspaper?” All of them said no. They asked us other Millennials in the room and we all also said no, but several of us mentioned we do read a lot of news, just all digitally.
- What is something you’ve learned from someone in another generation? Bryan and Laura both kinda skipped out on #3, but they gave some good answers for this one. Bryan talked about supervising someone older than him, and how that person has really challenged him to be more face to face, have interpersonal conversations in person, and that’s definitely something our generation is known to struggle with. Laura talked about her grandparent’s generation and how they gardened but this art was lost on her parent’s generation. She told a story about how her mom was raised with an outhouse until she was 13 and once she had indoor plumbing, never returned outside to any of the practice’s they were raised in. Steven also told a story about how he admire’s his mother’s work ethic and how he remembers growing up that his mom would pull doubles to help pay for a family member’s Christmas for their children.
From my take, it was a really good, informative time with my church family. While we traverse life together as a congregation, it’s good to have these little heart to hearts with each other as we learn how each other think, look at life, and see what we can all learn from each other.
Do you have anything to add to any of these questions? Have you learned anything from another generation? Would love to hear about it in the comments!