I am called to minister to the largest generation since the “Baby Boomers”. The Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are close to my heart as I fall into the older side of that generation. But you know, not “old” old. So I am reaching out to my own. With that in mind I count it a privilege to equip these young ‘uns (Alabama slang) to reach their peers, their city and their world. But what do they look for in their leaders?
The answer to this would help us all. Knowing this massive generation better holds one key to helping them shape our future.
Dr. Thom Rainer, President of Lifeway, posted some insightful characteristics that Millennials want in their leaders. He came about these characteristics in research for his book “The Millennials” a few years ago. You may be surprised at what he found. Dr. Rainer writes:
- Mentoring. This generation has great respect for those older than they are. Most of them have good relationships with their parents. They have learned from older people all their lives, and they don’t want to stop now. They want to be led and taught in their places of work, in their churches, and in their families. They particularly want to learn from couples who have had long and successful marriages. Many Millennials see such examples as heroes to emulate.
- Gentle spirit. This category is easier to describe by what Millennials do not want in leaders. Divisive, loud, and acrimonious persons turn them off. They loathe politicians and political pundits who scream at each other. They are leaving churches to some extent because they see many Christian leaders as negative and prone to divisiveness. They are repulsed by business leaders with harsh and autocratic spirits.
- Transparency and authenticity. I wish Jess and I had counted the number of times that Millennials used the word “real” to describe leaders they want to follow. As one Millennial told us, her generation “can smell phony and pretentiousness a mile away.” They don’t want phony; they want authentic. They don’t want pretentious; they want transparent.
- Integrity. The Millennials are weary of politicians who don’t keep promises. They are tired of Christian leaders who fail basic moral standards. They are fed up with business leaders who are more concerned about personal gain than serving others. They want leaders with integrity.
To read more see the original article over at the Lifeway site: What Millennials Want in Leaders.
Check out the book “The Millennials” right here.