I will admit that I approached David Stark’s new book, Reaching Millennials, with a bit of caution. It all came down to the subtitle: Proven Methods for Engaging a Young Generation. I am always hesitant with such grand claims that make it look like you can insert ministry into a formula and get the desired results.
It ended up that my fears were unfounded and that I really enjoyed the book. The book is divided into two sections: Mindset and Methodology.
The first section on mindset looks at what the Church should focus on. These include:
- Define yourself by what you’re for and not what you’re against.
- Build bridges to ideas outside of Christianity, and find as much common ground as possible.
- Stick to the essentials of the faith and allow for diversity on anything else where Christians disagree.
- Limit the requirements to engage with the faith to the very small list (4) in Acts 15.
- Focus on the thirsts, hurts, and journeys rather than what is wrong with the individual.
The second part looks at the methodology to reach millennials. Stark does not point to just one way but gives options that can be adapted to specific contexts. These revolve around the ideas of partnering with outsiders, outsider targeted services, caring and serving in the community, and internal ministries opened to outsiders.
Stark writes with a very clear and understandable style. One does not need a seminary education to comprehend the concepts in this book. My first thought was that this was a good book for pastors to share with their leaders.
If you are looking for a resource for understanding the millennial generation and creating ideas for outreach, I recommend David Stark’s Reaching Millennials.