Millennials: Authority OR Authenticity?

February 10, 2016
Millennials: Authority OR Authenticity?

Christ-likeness. Courage. A Cause. These are what millennials today look for in Christian leaders, said Lead/Defend conference breakout session speaker and youth ministry strategist, Warren Gasaway.

“Millennials in particular are tired of being sold a bill of goods,” he said. “They’re tired of the sales job. They want to follow something real and authentic.”

This generation also wants leaders to inflame them to join something bigger than themselves–a movement, a cause–usually represented by a color.

“These days I like to say that every color has a cause and every cause has a color,” said Warren. (For example, pink symbolizes breast cancer; silver, children with disabilities; teal, anti-bullying, and orange, hunger.)

In the Bible, the Israelites did not link causes with color, but circumstances still called for notable leaders to galvanize the troops and support the right convictions.

At the Lead/Defend conference Feb. 27 at Geyer Springs Baptist First Baptist Church, Little Rock, Warren said he will contrast two such biblical leaders. He will note differences between a title-less, unlikely but strong leader, who successfully wins the hearts of people through his servant-hood and passion rallying them to a cause (Jonathan) and his indecisive, weak, passionless but titled father (King Saul). The story is found in I Samuel 14.

“Saul represents those in our generation who (only) have a position. Unfortunately, in our society today, we have people who are hungry for position but who lack a passion that drives. Position is not leadership. There’s a difference between people who lead from position and people who lead from passion. You lead from passion and people will follow,” said Warren.

“You’re not a leader,” he said, “if no one is following you.”

Like Jonathan, he said, millennials don’t need the authority and title; they just need their lives to matter.

Warren said he hopes the students who come to the conference “will be better equipped to inspire faith in those that are watching.”

“My hope is that the generation of Christian leaders God is raising up would desire authenticity more than desiring the positions of the world.”