Dear Other Millennial Youth Pastors,
I do not know about you, but lately, it seems as if many people these days have a lot to say about millennials and this specific generation. It does not take long to hear that others think that millennials are irresponsible, do not demonstrate commitment, live in their parents’ basement, do not like to work and the list could go on and on.
It is true, many millennials could fit into the different categories that people have given to us. At times, I am even eligible of some of the accusations that older people give to millennials, like being dependent in different situations on my Smart Phone. However, we must fight the temptation of becoming bitter toward these people who complain about millennials and stop partially blaming them since we could view it as they are the ones who raised our generation. Instead, we must set an example for them.
In the New Testament, we have a clear example of a man who was younger than most people he was serving. In today’s society, maybe this scenario would have looked like a millennial serving in a baby boomer congregation. The interesting thing is when the Apostle Paul wrote to this young man, he did not tell him to try to please those who were older than him or even to try to fulfill their expectations for him. Instead, Paul exhorted Timothy to set an example.
Paul commanded Timothy in his letter by stating “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” It is striking to consider that Timothy could not control other people’s decisions to look down on him. Does this sound familiar to how people view millennials today? Yet Timothy could, by God’s grace and strength, control how he chose to live. He had the opportunity to live his life in a way that set an example for the older people who loved Jesus by what he said, how he lived, the way he loved, his faith in Christ and the purity which could be evident in his life because of a relationship with Christ.
So, my fellow millennial youth pastors, let us not grow bitter toward others’ opinions about us. Instead, let us set an example for believers of all ages as we seek to live our lives and lead our ministries in a way which proclaim the greatness and glory of our savior Jesus Christ.
I hope this encourages you.
A Fellow Millennial Youth Pastor
KYLE HOFFSMITH is the Pastor of High School Ministries at Old North Church in Canfield, Ohio. He is passionate about teaching students that true life is found in Jesus, breaking down generational barriers within the family of God, and equipping students to reach their schools with the Good News of Jesus. You can follow him on twitter @KYLE_HOFFSMITH.