Leader to Leader, Leadership

Six Ways to Encourage That New Millennial Church Worker

April 11, 2016 | Posted by Emilie Finke

I am a child. Perhaps some people see me as adult-esque (Which is highly flattering, let me tell you.) but I’ve been out of college/in ministry for almost two years now and it feels more like two hours. Young people are graduating from college (or whatever their pathway may be) and jumping into the crazy world of LCMS ministry left and right. Dear young people, I get you. It’s crazy, right?! Weird and difficult in ways we never imagined, and fulfilling and wonderful in ways we never anticipated. Dear experienced people, SOS WE NEED YOUR HELP. Whether that millennial in your church office is new to the city or simply new to adulthood, we are just entering this world of church work and by golly, we need your help. However, due to trying to seem like we’ve sort of got our lives together, we may struggle with asking for it.

So here are some ways to help:

  1. Invite us over. Seriously. Afraid we’ll think you’re old and boring? Perhaps. But probably not. Invite us to dinner, to your kid’s t-ball game, to happy hour. Spending time with couples and families is of infinite value, and often even fun. Keep a special eye out for us during holidays. Even if you’ve heard we already have other plans, invite us over anyway. Having too many invitations is a trillion times better than sitting alone on Easter afternoon, stoked Jesus is alive, but a tad bummed about the decided lack of rainbow jello.
  2. Information. It’s so easy. Just let us know what’s up! What books and podcasts have helped you in ministry? What’s the best place around church for a lunch meeting? How does a church worker do taxes? Where do young people hang out in this town? Which parts of town are full of scary people who want to rob us? Which parts of town are full of Instagram-worthy lattes? Do you know a few friendly people our age who could give us a tour? Help make that happen! Real-life humans giving us the lowdown and connecting us with other humans is a million times more effective than asking Siri “What free stuff is there to do within ten miles of me?” She doesn’t know and she doesn’t care.
  3. Safe space to ask questions. This pairs nicely with #2 actually. We’ve only got our experiences to go off of at this point and we may not even be confident with those. School may have taught us a lot but it sure didn’t teach us everything. (Have I mentioned how weird ministry is?! So random.) Please give us a safe, intentional space to ask questions with minimal judgment or backlash. Please give us honest answers. Please be transparent about the joyful stuff and the hard stuff. We need it.
  4. Hear us out. We have a lot of dumb ideas. We really do. But we’ve also got some really great ones! Millennials are an interesting batch of passionate people and we may not be thinking/feeling what you assume. Hear us out. Let us experiment. Let us mess up. We’ll learn and you may get a fun, fresh, out-of-the-box ministry tool to boot!
  5. Give a little space. One of the most stressful things I encountered when I first came to my church was people asking me if I would stay forever. Forever?! I have no idea! I’m still trying to memorize my new zip code and you want to know if this is the zip code I want to plug into self-serve gas stations for the rest of my life?! Cue hyperventilation. So many things can happen. We probably really like your city. We probably really like your church. We’re probably really excited that this is where God has us. But life is still a wide open space full of infinite possibility. Let us bask in that for a while.
  6. Pray. With and for us. The struggle is real. We need Jesus.

It is such an honor to be a part of God’s ministry. It is so exciting to be in new places and in new phases of life. Just keep an eye out for us, and maybe give us a good ‘ole side-hug now and then for good measure. I think I can speak for us all when I say thanks.

Emilie Finke
Emilie Finke is a daughter of Christ with a heart for millennials. She graduated from Concordia University Texas and is currently serving as worship leader, women’s ministry, and social media coordinator at The Point Church in Knoxville, TN. She loves good coffee paired with good music on a long road trip, conversations that get way too personal way too fast, and any well-placed pun. But Jesus is even better than all that. Check out more of her thoughts on all things life and Jesus at meanderingsandramblings.com.