Millennials Want Sermons that are Portable

New insight into the Millennial generation.  It seems that what they LEAVE corporate worship with is MORE important than what they get out the service itself.  Gen. X’ers wanted to feel good after church, Millennials want to act upon something after church.

Millennials (22-32 year olds) want biblical teaching and preaching that is immediately portable.  In other words, they want to walk out of church with something that they can use that day, possibly even that hour, in their spiritual lives.  They want teaching that prompts quick, responsible action.

What types of messages and sermons are portable, you might ask?  Great question.  In a way, preaching in this fashion is quite different from 7 Ways to Raise Great Kids or 5 Steps toward Financial Freedom.  Millennials are not looking for this type of application-preaching that was in vogue 12 years ago.  They want messages that demand them to do something today.  Not philosphical ideas or suggestions. 

Steps toward financial freedom are good, but Millennials are asking “What can I do this afternoon to wisely impact my financial future?  What change can I make tomorrow when my bank opens?  What can I do right now with my online banking account?” 

Or in the topic of raising biblical children.  Millennials are asking what change should they make with their kids this afternoon on the way home from church or at the restaurant.  They want to know about more about discipleship methods for that night before bed?   Overall, they want to know what books and articles should they download and what resources can access right now on their cell phone while still at church.

I think the folks at Passion got it right 5 years ago.  Instead of having a missions area that promoted all sorts of mission organizations and opportunities for global involvement, they shifted to a “Do Something Now” area.  While they still had the missions area, the goal was not to sign up a student and get them an email two weeks later.  The focus was doing something immediately without delay.  Give to dig wells today.  Buy socks for homeless today.  Write cards to orphan’s today.

This needs to be translated into worship and preaching practices when Millennials are present.  Otherwise, they will check out…today.

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About shanegarrison
I am a married, 30-something living in central KY. I serve as an associate professor of Educational Ministries at Campbellsville University.

3 Responses to Millennials Want Sermons that are Portable

  1. Jameson Williams says:

    Shane,
    I really appreciate the insight that you are giving here to the millennial generation. I can see that pattern in some of the places that I have been. For example Potential Church asks parishioners to go and purchase a frozen turkey at Thanksgiving time and they immediately bring them back and put them in a refrigerated truck. That really challenges our idea of the traditional invitation time. We want to usher in a decision point in that time and this gives me a different paradigm for conducting that time in the worship event.

  2. B says:

    Interesting article. So what I hear you saying is that they are sick of all of the topical, man-centered preaching that has been the preaching of the past generation, and they strictly want God-glorifying expositional Bible teaching that will challenge them to sacrificial Christ-like living immediately. In other words, if it’s not an expository sermon, they won’t listen. Interesting.

  3. Pingback: Dropping Like Flies | Jon Platt

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