Social Distancing and Watching a lot of Netflix is not good enough for Millennials!

Millennials are without a doubt, one of the most caring people groups on the planet. Danita Bye shares how Millennials have much to offer us in the way of technology and as a bridge between the older and younger generations.


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Millennials are without a doubt, one of the most caring people groups on the planet. They’re also experts in technology which our churches desperately need as we are practicing social distancing while trying to remain connected and growing together. We’re honored to have one of the world-renowned experts on working with millennials, Danita Bye. She is a sought after speaker for conferences, Ted Talks, corporate functions. Her bestselling book, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building Your Next-Gen Leader, it’s incredible. It’s an amazing book, must-read, provides resources, equips business professionals and even church leaders on how to develop the next generation of high capacity leaders.

Here is our interview with Danita:

Millennials have been in the news and it hasn’t been positive. Health experts, governors, and even late-night comedians are singling them out as not obeying the shelter rules and thereby spreading the COVID-19 virus to the elderly and essential laborers. That applies even to Generation X. The challenge is that we know millennials, in particular, could be asymptomatic, showing those signs of having the virus but yet they’re spreading it. What are you learning from Millennials regarding this issue? What are you hearing? And what are you saying to them?

Millennials and Fake News

Millennials have been playing with fake news their entire life. When we look at a culture that loves to find someone and something to point fingers at, then there has to be a people group that we have to pick on. I might suggest that the finger-pointing that’s happening toward millennials, some of that may be fake news. Some of it may be correct news. When I talk with millennials, and ask them, they think it’s actually the older people that aren’t being responsible. Because when they go out, they see groups of older people out doing things. At a time when we should be coming together and serving together, we have finger-pointing going on in our culture. Dr. Deborah Burke, the White House Corona’s Task Force response coordinator, yes, she has urged millennials to heed the health guidelines. What I also heard her say is that millennials are the group of people that can help us. They have the technology that can help us. They are the ones that also bridge the relationships with the older generations as well as the younger generations.

World Changers

When I’m talking to millennials, here’s what I’m seeing; 84% according to surveys want to make a positive difference in the world. They have been raised as people who want to serve the community, who want to make the world a better place to live and this is a great opportunity right in front of them. I put a message out on Facebook to my millennial friends and asked a very generic conversation about what their thoughts were. The first one, a guy named Cooper said, “this is an important time for us to rise up. We can send care packages to people, we can start writing letters to everyone we think would like one, we can start calling, videoing, and texting people. We are the ones that can use technology to organize and stay in touch with families. We are the ones who should be setting up video calls and troubleshooting to make sure our mom and our grandma know how to use it.”

It’s amazing how technology is a way that can help bring us together and have spiritual growth, even during a time of social distancing. That’s one of the places where the churches can dive in.

Millennials in the workforce

By 2020, millennials- this is the age group born between 1980 and 2000 – are forecast to comprise half of the American workforce by 2025, thats 75% of the global workforce. Companies like Ernst and Young, Accenture, are already reporting that millennials make up two-thirds of the entire employee base. At the same time, we got the jobless report, over 3 million people are out of work.

How are millennials adjusting to the new work environment?

There’s two groups of people that I see. One, are the group of people who have been mandated to work from home, and it’s the first time they’ve ever really worked from home. That’s a place where we, as leaders, can step in and start to mentor them about how do you work from home, and what that looks like. What I’m hearing from the millennials that I’m in contact with is they have been incredibly impressed with how focused their colleagues have been from working at home. That’s not the case with all of them, but there is a group who are going to thrive and do very well.

The other part is this whole group of young people who have been hit, again, by a downturn in the economy. I’m encouraging them to go back and do thinking on who God has called them to be and what God has called them to do. What are their passions in life? What do they want to accomplish with life? What I’ve found is that when we can work with younger people in our midst and help them to create that long term vision, then we can begin to work backwards and say what are the lessons that I need to learn during this time? Where do I need to stretch myself during this time? It’s so easy to be just caught up in the short term, especially with social media, especially with a kind of a fear-based social media. That’s where we as leaders need to come alongside and create the long term vision of what do you want to do with your life, and what might you be doing today in order to help?

Number two, is during this time when you do have downtime, is to be focused on personal development issues. Maybe there’s some assessments online that will help you get a deeper understanding of your spiritual gifting, or your behavior styles, or your purpose, or maybe there’s some books on time management. So number one is, look at the long term and then number two is, to be able to leverage and utilize this time from a personal development perspective. My advice to both groups of people, is to make certain that this isn’t a wasted time in your life.

Embracing the millennial spirit

One of the chapters in my book is sharing your wealth. For many of us, our very first thought when we hear wealth is financial wealth. In reality, we have so much wealth to share spiritually, relationally, physically, intellectually, motivationally. I submit that God has given every single one of us a wealth that we can share. This is a time to look at what kind of wealth has God-given me, what’s in my hand, and how can I share that? A message that I’m hearing, as I’m talking with business leaders, primarily is that this is a time of reset. It’s a time for us to evaluate and to reset ourselves spiritually. Do we have our values, our vision, our mission in line? It’s time to reset relationally. Maybe there’s some relationship with our families that we haven’t prioritized. Physically, have we not treated our bodies well? This is a great time that we can be exercising. We can be exercising while we’re watching Netflix or something. Reset intellectually and creatively, and motivationally. Let’s not waste the crisis, let’s really maximize it.

We will look back at this time and be grateful for what God has done.