Preaching to a group of millennials.
Terry and I went to a movie the other day, and 30 minutes in, all the millennials got up and walked out – they had come to the end of their attention span. Oh, she just corrected me, that wasn’t a movie, it was church. So I read a few blog posts by millennials and found them written in a large font and always less than 300 words – claiming to appeal to the millennial mind. I also saw a millennial reading a book the other day, she must have been an imposter. I notice that millennials who ride bicycles, watch football or play video games have a much longer attention span than those who go to church. Secretly, I self-identify as a millennial, even though I was born as a baby boomer, because I also have trouble paying attention when stuff gets boring.
Jesus preached to millennials. Back then they called them ‘the multitudes’. They were people with short attention spans who all did their own thing as long as it was the same thing. Jesus called them out! He challenged them to step out of their familiarity, abandon their cultural stereotype, and follow Him. You might be a ‘Me generation’ baby boomer, or a ‘Generation Me’ millennial, but just like the ‘Me mentality multitude’ of Jesus’ day, we all need to be called out – no excuses!
Some of Jesus’ sermons were one minute long, sometimes He preached ten in a row – nobody noticed, because He spoke with authority. I think it was the Apostle Paul who invented the long sermon. He also spoke with authority and only one guy ever fell asleep. So here’s what I think: there will always be distractions and God’s Word will always be relevant. A preacher who excuses millennials from paying attention would do better to become a better preacher. Good preaching changes and empowers people, always.