Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Millenial Challenge

I read a brief article at Huffington Post titled, "What Matters to Millenials: Pew Study." The Millenial generation-young adults between 18 and 29 years of age are a unique group of young people who experienced (and are continuing to experience) a dramatically changing world. Technology created an entirely different world from the one I grew up in. I am very familiar with millenials as I have two sons in that age category. The article stated that millenials are getting married later than earlier generations. These observations and others were gathered from the Pew Research Center survey which was done in January and surveyed 2,020 young adults. They were asked a variety of questions about what's important to them. It was widely reported in the news. Some of the interesting findings were: millenials who can't find jobs are living with their parents (only because they have to). The present economic situation has created difficulties for many young people. Single millenials who do have jobs are living in trendy neighborhods (I'm referring to NYC), such as Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Park Slope, Red Hook, the lower East Side, The East Village, Gramacy Park and other "hip" neighborhoods.
One of the sadder findings of that survey, which was reported in the news, is that millenials are not that religious. According to the survey, "Young adults attend religious services less often than older Americans. And compared with their elders today, fewer young people say that religion is very important in their lives."
As I've written about before, there exists a large group of unchurched and non-practicing young adult Catholics. How do you reach them is the challenge for the Church. Creative thinking and creative evangelization would help. From what I've observed millenials like to go for brunch on Sunday mornings and afternoons. It's difficult getting into a restaurant on Sunday mornings and afternoons in trendy neighborhoods.
One finding that I thought was positive was though they get married later and wait to have children, when asked what was important to them, they replied that being a good parent was very important to them. I guess the hope is that when they become parents they will realize how important it is to raise their children with faith and belief. So perhaps they will embrace religion and religious services as they get older. Let's hope so.