What Hillary Is Learning About GenXers—and What Your Church Must Know

by | Jan 27, 2016 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

Hillary Clinton thought she had the full support of young American voters last year. She got high-profile endorsements from singers Pharrell Williams and Christina Aguilera. She appeared in a goofy skit on Saturday Night Live in which she praised herself for having a “young, cool vibe.” She even brought in pop star Katie Perry (sporting Hillary Clinton campaign fingernails) to sing her signature anthem “Roar” at a campaign event in Iowa.

But now, just a few months later, 68-year-old Clinton is scrambling to convince Millennials and GenXers that she is their candidate. She even opened a Snapchat account and put her 35-year-old daughter, Chelsea, on the platform. But the latest polls show that, among Democrats, a majority of young voters are choosing Bernie Sanders, the ultra-liberal, “democratic socialist” senator from Vermont—who is six years older than Clinton.

The reason? Young voters have told CNN and other news outlets that they don’t trust Hillary. They think she’s dishonest. And they believe she is too tied to the Wall Street/Inside-the-Washington-Beltway establishment. They detect something fake.

We’ll see how all this plays out in Iowa and New Hampshire in a few days. Meanwhile, I hope the church can learn a few lessons from politics. The truth is that Millennials and GenXers don’t have much trust in the Christian “establishment” either. Here are a few things the church must learn fast if we want to win the trust of the younger generation:

1. Quit being phony. Young people today want authenticity. They can’t stand anything fake or pretentious. We are way past the time when preachers can afford to be cocky and unapproachable. Ministers who arrive at church in limousines or who view ministry as a business venture might as well forget about attracting the younger crowd. Youth today cannot stomach the swagger of a slick televangelist who has been stuck in a 1980s time warp. If you genuinely care about taking the gospel to the younger generation, get rid of anything that comes across as fake. (And that includes pushing people to the floor when you pray for them.)

2. Stop preaching a money-focused gospel. Today’s young people will go to the ends of the earth with you if you preach a message of humility and sacrifice. They want to heal the sick, stop child slavery and crush injustice. They despise corporations that oppress foreign workers and governments that exploit people. So if you spend all your time taking offerings for a private jet or manipulating people to give in your “first fruits offering,” young people will yawn, roll their eyes and find a better cause to support. They can spot a religious con artist quicker than many adults who have been in church for years!

3. Cultivate real relationships. Today’s young people don’t place a high value on church attendance or religious routines. Part of the reason they stay away from programmed events is that they genuinely want to connect; they are not interested in keeping a chair warm just so you can fill your new sanctuary. They are relational. And some are starved for love because their own families split apart. They don’t want to just listen to a preacher; they want to hear what you have to say and then have a coffee with you afterward. Churches that are successfully reaching young people create a true family environment of love and connection.

4. Offer assurance and encouragement—and follow through. Some of the young men I mentor were horribly disappointed by parents or spiritual leaders. Some were abandoned by their dads; others were verbally abused by pastors. For that reason, they expect older adults to fail them again—yet they thrive when a true mentor steps in to offer affirming words and caring hugs. But remember: If you tell a young person you will help them, keep your promise. Make the phone calls, send the texts and take them to lunch when possible. You are making a priceless investment.

5. Stop being religious and judgmental. Many of the young Christians I meet today are more passionate about their faith than their parents. They spend their summers on the mission field, get involved in 24/7 prayer efforts and forfeit cars and careers to serve the Lord. But when they walk into some churches they are instantly judged because they have scruffy beards, metal piercings in their noses or tattoos on their forearms. Then they listen to self-righteous Christians who bash sinners rather than model compassion. Is it any wonder that so many Millennials and GenXers have checked out of church?

It is possible to close the generation gap in the church, but this won’t happen until older Christians start caring less about maintaining the status quo and more about loving and empowering younger believers. Let’s make the necessary changes by slaughtering our sacred cows, embracing new music, learning new technology and welcoming a fresh wave of the Holy Spirit’s power.{eoa}

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

After the Supreme Court ruled last week 6-3 that there is no constitutional right to abortion, pro-life supporters cheered while angry pro-choice activists took to the streets to denounce the decision. Abortion advocates carried placards and shouted slogans such as...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

We are told that we must listen to God’s voice when we need to make important decisions. What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? How do we apply this to our everyday lives? 7 Bible Verses About Hearing God’s Voice “So then faith comes by hearing, and...

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

As we were coming into the month of June, the halfway point of the year, the Lord began to speak to me that we are at a tipping point. How we position and posture ourselves in this month will set the tone for the next six months. A tipping point is a series of small...

RECENT ARTICLES

Charismatic Christian Spreads Spirit-Filled Hope, Boldness and Truth to the U.S. House of Representatives

One of the most high-profile, outspoken, freedom-fighting and influential conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives is a Spirit-filled, Charismatic Christian. Colorado Rep. Lauren...
Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

A predator ensnares his prey with a trap meant to weaken and disarm the life so easily enticed by the bait set before it. Once the predator catches his prey, his goal is to steal, kill and destroy. Do you know this is exactly what the enemy is trying to do to you...

3 Things God Can’t Do

3 Things God Can’t Do

 Most people will be surprised and may even gasp at that statement. You mean there are some things God can't do? Yes, it’s true. He can do anything except for these three things. {eoa} Bill and Annette Wiese founded Soul Choice Ministries in 2000 for the purpose of...

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Before the invasion, many—probably most—Western analysts expected the war to last from a few days to a few weeks due to Russia’s vastly superior military might. However, the Ukrainians surprised everyone. Due to the bravery...

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]