The Millennials are coming! And if you've sampled the literature about them, you're likely a little scared. Restless, entitled, bloated self-esteem, desultory work patterns, twitter-sized attention spans—pick your pejorative. Commentators have slung them all at those born between 1980 and 2000.
But the ominous rumblings obscure a more complex reality. In The Millennials: Connecting to American's Largest Generation (B&H Books) Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources, and his son Jess W. Rainer, release findings from 1,200 interviews with Millennials and offer a more balanced view.
Turns out there are positive characteristics among those who comprise this demographic bulge. The book is written to include a secular readership, but has important implications for anyone who will minister with and to Millennials. And since there are 78 million Millennials—America's largest generation yet—that pretty much includes all of us.
Most research books are tedious reads, but the Rainers intersperse their findings with profiles of real-life Millennials, introducing readers to the stories behind the statistics.
The book focuses on older Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1991 (today's twentysomethings) and reveals some encouraging values. For instance, Millennials place a high premium on family. When asked, "What is really important to you?" 61 percent placed "family" at the top of the list. "Friends" were a distant second, cited by 25 percent of the respondents.
Millennials retain close relationships with their parents. Maybe too close. Parents of Millennials have been dubbed "Helicopter Parents" for their tendency to hover over their grown children's lives, even paying their bills and negotiating ...