This week we hear from Matt Koomen…
Older People. Well, I should be more politically correct; wise people. As I get older, my definition of what an older person is has gotten older too! When I was younger, it was someone in their 30’s. As I get closer to 30, I realize even people in their 30’s are not old at all; and it must be people in their 40’s! I’m assuming that this trend will continue to go up as my birthdays come and go on February 13. (Presents are welcome if you remember).
I had a chance to sit down with some “twenty somethings” in the church a few weeks ago. I had a chance to talk with them about what seems to be missing in the church, what things they enjoy, what they would like to see added.
It was so intriguing to see that what they wanted were older people.
Isn’t that crazy! I tell you this because anyone older than a millennial has had a chance to live and experience more life than they have. “Twenty somethings” in the church are looking for people older than them and wiser than them to pour into their lives.
If you have had kids, I can assume that this is quite a surprise since it seems like once they hit high school, all they want to do is become more independent. They are away from the house more. They are always talking to their friends; while avoiding their parents. There is a cool moment when during that independence they realize that having the advice and friendship of the wiser generation is crucial for helping them get through life!
The “next generation” is looking to you.
They want to be engaged by you. It may sound crazy but they WANT to have the conversations about what it was like when you grew up! You can probably skip the part about having to walk up hill; both ways in a blizzard though. We have all heard that; and we will probably tell our kids and grandkids the same thing someday.
No, you do not need to dress a certain way to be accepted by the millennial generation; actually that old flannel that you wore when you were younger is actually pretty trendy right now! Grab it out of the closet and dust it off! Seriously though, as a millennial; it is hard to walk up to someone wiser than me and ask them to be a mentor in my life. It is hard to ask what things to avoid in my life if there is no one asking me.
So I challenge you to this: build a relationship with a “twenty something”.
It could be a married couple that is just getting started with life; they want the advice of someone who has made some mistakes and worked through them. It could be a young single who doesn’t know what they should be doing with their life, they want the advice of someone who can see the gifts they have in their own life and help apply them! You don’t need to have a Psychology degree or made all the right decisions to have a coffee with someone younger. The stories about the wrong decisions are typically more fun anyway!
All that to say, reach out to the younger people. They want to reach out, but may not know how. A simple cup of joe will go a long way.
Fight the Good Fight