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How to tap into millennials passion

The majority of youth ministry staff and volunteers would be labeled by sociologists as part of the millennial generation. (As opposed to our students, who are part of the digital generation.)

And, practically speaking, in order to make our ministry fly in our church/organization we need volunteers to pour themselves out and make an investment in our students. Many of us have discovered that this is a difficult task. We make pitches and we invite caring adults into our students lives and our first and second picks are typically too busy or over-committed. So we end up settling for people who are willing instead of people who might be the best fit. (That’s complicated and full of assumption, right?)

But my point is that to attract and keep the best people for our ministry we may need to examine how the generation we are asking to engage is motivated.

That’s exactly the point of a new study published by Barkley and sliced and diced by Carol Phillips of the University of Notre Dame. Here’s a couple of points from Carol’s summary which I thought were important to us leading youth groups.

  • Collaboration. The (sic) desire to connect with brands that share their passions is a key motivation, both online and offline.
  • Authenticity. The vast majority believe “Being True To Yourself” is inherently more influential in life (62%).
  • Involved. Making a differences lies in the cumulative effect of small decisions, little actions, not necessarily a big career accomplishment.
  • Influenced. 70 percent of Millennials reported feeling more excited when their friends agreed with them about where to shop, eat and play. Only 48 percent of older adults were as heavily influenced by their friends and colleagues.
  • Adventure. The large majority of Millennials (70 percent) want to visit every continent in their lifetime. Fewer than half of older adults report that goal.
What impact could these learning have on your ministry?
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The Pace of Puberty Matters

There’s been a lot of research about the psychological and social impact of early onset or late onset puberty in both males and females. But researchers are now looking into the emotional and psychological impact of the pace at which physical puberty occurs. Here’s some of the highlights of what they learned:

A provocative new research reports suggests that children who speed through puberty are more likely to act out and to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Why does going through puberty at a faster rate relate to external behavior problems and internal anxiety and depression?

“The thought is that when the major changes of puberty are compressed into a shorter amount of time, adolescents don’t have enough time to acclimate, so they’re not emotionally or socially ready for all the changes that happen,” said Marceau.

“This is the explanation that originally was attributed solely to early timing, but we suggest that the same thing also is happening if the rate of puberty is compressed.”

Read the rest at PsychCentral

Have you seen this with any of your students?