Understanding the Spirit of Millennial Generation in Church Leader Gathering Event

17 Feb 2020

Church Leader Gathering event as a forum to show the result of "Connected Generation" research by Barna Research and World Vision International

World Vision International collaborates with Barna Research in managing “Connected Generation” research in 2019 involving 15,369 millennial generation respondents (aged 18-35 year) in 25 countries. The result of the research was explained in the Church Leader Gathering event held by Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI), February 10, 2020, in Jakarta. Delegation of Church activists, education activists and millennial generation observers from 120 institutions also participated in the event with a theme of “Bringing Shalom Across Generations”.  

Before started the research, Barna Research has identified the millennial generation as a millennial which was born in 1984-1998. The millennial generation is characterized as a connected generation because of information and technology, social media and interactions that are built through cyberspace. The millennial generation apparently believes in matters relating to spirituality.

This was revealed from the results of research by Barna Research and World Vision International which stated that 47 percent of the total respondents in 25 countries still believed in matters related to spirituality. Meanwhile, as many as 75% of young people in Indonesia believe things related to spirituality.

The research result was explained by the delegation of Bilangan Research Center, Bambang Budianto, Ph.D. He said, 80,7% of millennial generation respondents (aged 15-25 years, 4,000 respondents, 42 cities), declared that the discipleship of other people can affect personal spiritual growth.  

The servants of God and their peers are considered to be very instrumental in the spiritual growth of young people. Bambang continued, the millennial generation is now starting to leave the church, where 52% of respondents expressed the reason they no longer interact with the church is that there is no interesting church program. They considered the church's program to be useless, as well as irrelevant. Meanwhile, 20% felt millennial was not involved in church services, 14.3% were due to leadership disconnect problems, and 5.6% felt there was pretense in the church.

Other findings also reveal the fact that the younger generation has great attention to global issues such as corruption, climate change, pollution, racism, and poverty. However, only a few felt the church helped them better understand social justice, poverty, and marginalized people.

Churches have a big opportunity to support youth preparedness in the challenges of the time. However, based on the Barna Research survey revealed that only 20%-30% youth generation of Indonesia felt that the church has been helping them to understand poverty and social justice.

Daniel Copeland, Research Director of Barna Research that came into the event also said that only 5% of young people in Indonesia inspired to be a leader because of someone’s example at church. And only 9% of them who got the leadership training from church, even though the church needs young people as future leaders.

“82% of young respondents said that now people are facing a leadership crisis,” Daniel said.

Some speakers: PGI General Secretary, Ps. Jacklevyn Manuputty, Ps. Sydney Mohede (JPCC), and Pastor Carolus Putranto (Archdiocese of Jakarta) and KWI delegation, Father Carolus Putranto attended to the event. They explained that the church needs to continue to learn from young people.

Father Carolus Putranto explained, youth is not a matter of age, but a matter of life commitment that invites the church to continue to build its youthful vocation to never stop learning about new things, so that it increasingly impacts and can involve millennials in serving God and others.

The Secretary of the PGI, Rev. Jacky Manuputy, responded that young people are potential and must continue to be empowered as part of the church's human capital to respond to social issues. Meanwhile, Sydney Mohede explained the importance of leadership patterns that empower and trust young people to be involved according to their talents through coaching and mentoring.

On the same occasion, WVI National Director, Doseba T. Sinay explained that WVI views the church as an irreplaceable partner who has cooperated with WVI in programs such as Child Protection Hope Channels for Pastors, Care with Love, Cultural Revitalization and child engagement programs young people in volunteerism in the WVI service area.

"The young generation and its problems are always interesting and concern for all of us. We continue to walk with the church to use this opportunity to facilitate and provide space for young people to be more involved in the church and society," Doseba explained.

Cooperation of WVI and church is one of the partnership opportunities that can be built with the church is growing the desire of millennials to return to activities with the church. WVI believes that the church is working and serving well and continues to encourage partnerships to deal with larger issues with planned and measured stages.


Written by: Anil Dawan, Faith and Development Manager Wahana Visi Indonesia   

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