“Millennials value discerning truth as a community,” reported Envision (Alliance) director Tim Meier in his recent article, “5 Key Values of the Millennial Generation.”
“This generation resists a top down, one-guy-telling-all-the-information way of learning.”
In his article, Tim addresses values shaping the way Millennials interact with church and faith. But does this value apply in Asia, where an authoritarian teaching context stems from centuries of cultural tradition?
Anne* and Paul, Alliance international workers who began an outreach to university students in Asia, recently shared their experience.
One of their young leaders, Neal, manages the ministry’s weekly campus outreach and had encountered obstacles. Students like Steve were attending inconsistently because they struggled with navigating the pressures of home and school, including many hours spent in the university lab.
“Neal had a ‘desperation brainstorm,’” Anne reports. “He asked how we could make the weekly campus outreach more relevant to students like Steve so they would be compelled to attend.”
Neal developed Life Lab. In place of students listening passively to a lecturer each week, he organized a small-group setting for students to freely express themselves and talk about life and faith together.
“Along with the other seekers, Steve was skeptical when he attended the first Life Lab,” Anne says. “But he later told Neal, ‘I was so attracted to the warmth and peace that radiated from the group.’”
Neal threw out topics for attendees to discuss that included “Spiritual Laws that Govern Life” and “Faith You Can Experience.”
“After a few rounds of questions and debates, the Holy Spirit prevailed,” Anne says.
“During one session, group members were talking about sin, and Steve exclaimed, ‘According to the biblical definition of sin, I am a sinner!’
“That was the day Steve was won over,” Anne recalls. “He knew he needed the Savior—Jesus.”
If you’re a young leader desiring to connect with Millennials from a variety of contexts in a community-type setting, register to attend Summit, an annual Envision leadership conference for young influencers held next year in New York City, May 8–12.