Who are the Millennials and how do we reach them for the cause of Christ? Building on generational theory and biblical theology, this course familiarizes the student with the Millennial generation, separates fact from fiction, and identifies and develops effective methods of discipleship. The goal is to equip students to be leaders who can missionally engage the Millennial generation faithfully and effectively in various cultural contexts.
Research shows that much of contemporary society across the globe is increasingly educated, urban, and young. As a result, emerging leaders need to understand what makes these younger generations "tick" so that they can be effectively reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all approaches to discipleship; instead, the most effective methods are generationally relevant and highly contextualized. Thus, students need to be equipped with the requisite tools and training to reach Millennials using missionally-oriented approaches and practices.
One of the most important endeavors a Christian university can undertake is the investment in its future generations. Indeed, there is biblical precedent for both the pedagogical and replication aspects of discipleship, as evidenced in the relationships between Moses and Joshua, Paul and Timothy. This investment is particularly needed in the Millennial generation. Millennials are the largest of the generational cohorts, surpassing even the mammoth Baby Boomer generation. Millennials are the culture molders, policymakers, and church leaders of tomorrow. However, at present, they are also the most un-churched, de-churched cohort among us. It is imperative, therefore, that we design ministries and discipleship strategies that are missional in nature, engaging Millennials where they are so they can encounter Christ and fulfill their generational calling.
The Bible is the foundation for the call to make disciples of all nations, peoples, and generations. This course gives special attention to Scriptures, which address the replication aspect of discipleship, particularly the concepts of generational calling and intergenerational ministry. These ideas are explored within the larger context of biblical missiology.
The missional approach to ministry is especially relevant for the discipleship of Millennials, as they are the generational cohort least likely to engage with the traditional, institutional church. It is imperative, therefore, that emerging leaders develop contextually appropriate discipleship strategies that understand how to "take church" to Millennials rather than expecting them to re-engage with traditional, institutional forms.
Students learn about the importance of culture and context vis-à-vis the discipleship of Millennials. Through the study of demographic and sociographic data, as well as the exploration of ministries and programs that have been contextualized for emerging adults, students develop leadership skills that aid them in the implementation of contextualized missional ministries to Millennials.
Millennials are the most globally-minded of the generations. Because of their access to common media sources, they share many of the same ideals, concerns, and opinions. Despite these commonalities, intercultural nuances do exist among Millennials; thus, it is important to understand how ministries to Millennials can be contextualized so that faith can be expressed in culturally appropriate ways in their respective cultural milieus.
Students are challenged to take the principles and concepts learned and apply them in the world around them. The goal is transformation of the student by drawing out their individual giftedness for their unique missional calling. Students are encouraged to move from theory to praxis as they apply their acquired knowledge to effectively disciple Millennials in missional settings.
This course strives to go beyond mere information. It is designed for personal transformation of the student that results in missional living. Thus, this class employs experiential exercises that provide real-life experiences with Millennials. Possibilities include ethnographic practices such as interviewing, participant observation, and document analysis.