7 Sins of Millennial Believers

Last week, I posted “7 Sins of Baby Boomer Believers.” One of my readers, Patrick Edwards (Lead Pastor of Lake Gaston Baptist Church in Littleton, NC), responded with his assessment of some of the sins of his generation, the Millennials. Let us know what you think about his conclusions. 

Born in 1985, I’m the oldest of the Millennials. As a result, I don’t share every perspective with my younger counterparts, but I understand the perspective. The Millennial generation is contributing to the church, particularly a passion for and willingness to go anywhere to reach the nations with the gospel. At the same time, there is much in my heart – and I know the same to be true of my fellow Millennials – that we need to confess.

  1. We are impatient. We want to see the nations reached and want to see every follower of Christ embrace that calling, but we expect it to happen right now and can act rashly at times in our speech or actions when our churches aren’t moving toward that mission as quickly as we’d like.
  2. We are arrogant. We can think that we’re the first to have this passion and the first to think seriously and biblically about that calling. We can be unwilling to listen to others or consider that not all our strategies and ideas are the best ones.
  3. We are ungracious. Our impatience and our arrogance can make us unkind toward anyone who does not see it like we see it. Worse, we too often express that unkindness to others in our church or the wider Christian community.
  4. We too quickly and easily dismiss those before us. We can think that because the culture has shifted, all prior strategies for reaching the lost are outdated and useless. We can ignore the rich heritage laid before us.
  5. We take for granted the hard work and fields plowed before us. We’ve read about the “Battle for the Bible” in history books and heard the stories, but can fail to appreciate the labors our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents put in toward reaching the lost with the life-giving Word of God.
  6. We feel entitled. Stemming from the prior sins, we can think that those who don’t share our ideas or perspectives should just get out of the way and let us lead the church into the Promised Land.
  7. We err on the side of being “of the world.” Many of us have rebelled against what we perceived was cultural Christianity. arguing all things are lawful but forgetting that not all things are helpful. In an attempt to build bridges and open doors with the culture around us, sometimes we have drunk too much of the culture rather than speaking truth into it.

As a Millennial pastor, I know I don’t speak for everyone. Pray, though, that we might be a generation willing to sell all to reach the nations while also being a generation humble enough to learn from, listen to, and labor with our spiritual brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers who have gone before us and continue to go to the ends of the earth!

What are your thoughts, readers?  



  • Bill Pitcher says:

    I think those comments are accurate. Having only 1 couple of this age group in my church, I don’t have to deal with it often; but I see other pastors struggling with it.
    Maybe a “boomer, gen x, millennial, trans-generational conference is in order!

  • Chuck Lawless says:

    Thanks, Bill.

  • SJ Wayman says:

    Working with Millennials at our ministry and at church I see some of this. My husband and I try to be patient with them. Some others at the ministry are not. What really breaks my heart is your #4 and 5. Our church has been very active for 20 years in Russia and in South Africa. The ministries and churches we work with there want to continue partnership. It is not so much money as relationship that they want. In fact in South Africa it is totally relationship. We hired a new millennial pastor. He loves missions but totally threw away all the good will and decades of relationship that our church and many of our people had in these two countries. Not revelant he says. He has his “own relevant ministries” he wants so he threw away the decades of relationships and good will in these two countries. It breaks our heart that he has no interest in the fact that we have “history” and do great things there and have even built up credibility with the governments there.

  • Dr Lawless,
    Was Generation X forgotten or are we not important enough for a breakdown of our shortcomings? Perhaps our list would require two posts? I can certainly relate to having been guilty of several of these points, especially the first one. I taught James 1:19b to my Upwards teams and it speaks clearly to me. Far too often I have been speedy to speak and slow to listen.I find that when I reverse when I follow the scripture it helps keep me slow to anger as well.

    • Chuck Lawless says:

      Fair points, Louis. Perhaps more posts are in order…

    • Ken says:

      Sometimes I think Generation X ought to be renamed “Generation Etc.” That’s how we’re always listed in church growth seminars (“Baby Boomers, millennials, etc.”). I’m the youngest of six children, but as a member of Generation X, I’m starting to see things from the standpoint of the neglected middle child. Maybe that’s they ought to call us: “Generation Middle Child”.

  • Zach Kennedy says:

    As a millennial, I feel I have definitely been guilty of all of these at one time or another, especially numbers 1, 2, 4, and 6, based on their descriptions. It’s easy sometimes to think that older generations are the only ones with “preference problems.” While I think there are sometimes real issues with methodology, I hope and pray that through the Gospel, all generations (millennials especially included) can rise above our methodological/stylistic preferences.

  • Melanie Page says:

    Wisdom is needed in most anything that we undertake.

  • I completely agree with everything you said. I know that, at times, I exhibit several of these, especially the “of the world” one. However, reading Romans has helped me become disenchanted with the world and “to be conformed by the renewing of the mind” in Christ. Thanks brother!

  • Adam says:

    Upbringing that has caused traits like arrogance and entitlement would be a good thing to study. I’ve heard a great deal of millennial bashing (admittedly deserved) by those who raised us. Boomers give us everything and then are upset with our entitlement. Parents act as if the world revolve around their children and then are shocked when their children act like it. I am a millennial with some if not all of these traits and I want to, while letting the bible confront my heart, raise children that love the Lord with a humble heart that do not have these traits.

    I’m looking forward to more study on this and information to use in parenting and discipleship.

    Thanks for the post Dr. Lawless!


  • Teresa says:

    Although I believe the article is on point I also believe we Baby Boomers missed something important while raising our Millennials. Also, when they believe in something, they go for it. They may not always stop and consider the facts, they faith it!

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