6 Ways Millennials Educate Their Church

Millennials
Millennials can educate their church in many ways. (© iStockphoto/digitalskillet)

Over the past few decades, the seeker-sensitive movement—and before that the church growth movement—taught us much about contextualization in the church.

The strengths of these movements included a relentless evangelistic focus and a willingness to question status quo methodology and some extra biblical traditions. On the other hand, their weaknesses were exposed as well. There was a tendency by some to downplay the importance of biblical truths and theological education. The practical sometimes overshadowed the theological.

In recent years, however, I have noticed a remarkable—and welcomed—return by younger leaders to the fundamentals of the faith, basic theological education and the deepening of doctrinal roots.

Recently I studied these trends and identified six ways millennial leaders are increasing the importance and effectiveness of theological education in the local church:

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

1. Emphasizing the big story of the Bible. Millennial leaders understand the need for Christians to be grounded in the grand narrative of Scripture, and the resources they use range from chronological Bible reading plans to theologically robust kids' Bibles. The overwhelming success of The Gospel Project, a curriculum that uses the story line of Scripture to teach essential doctrines, shows that church leaders today see the need for theological education and are acting accordingly.

2. Utilizing a catechism-like resource with their kids. In the previous point, I mentioned theologically rich children's Bibles, but it doesn't just stop there. Millennial parents are using other resources and even smartphone apps to teach theological concepts and lessons to their children at home. While they aren't typically formal catechisms, they emphasize building a foundation of correct answers to biblical questions. The Big Picture question-and-answer section in The Gospel Project for Kids curriculum is just one example of a resource for this practice.

3Working through systematic theology in study groups. I know of several churches that have weekly study groups that cover basic systematic theology. This is not just doughnuts and devotions. These groups intensely study Scripture and theology and in many cases have seen an increase in theological education and evangelistic fervor.

4. Returning to theological hymnody and songs. We've had Keith Getty on our podcast to discuss hymnody and trends in the worship services, but again, it doesn't stop there. Many millennial parents are using time in the car with their children to reinforce biblical truth through song. Several musicians have responded to this trend with albums full of songs with lyrics made entirely of Scripture.

5. Reading recommended books from church websites. Many churches no longer have an official library, but are still recommending books. Many church websites now include a "Recommended Reading" section that features a mix of devotional classics, theological books and the resources.

6. Holding church membership classes. The two main things you should communicate in church membership classes are information and expectations. And both of those must be firmly built on a biblical foundation of good theology.  


Thom S. Rainer is the president of LifeWay Christian Resources. For the original article, visit thomrainer.com.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders