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What Attracts Millennials Most

What leadership trait attracts Millennials most? A sense of purpose. This is according to a recent study by Deloitte.

The study, which surveyed 7,800 Millennials across 29 countries, revealed that 6 out of 10 Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) said a sense of purpose was part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer.

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As far as the individual traits of leaders, Millennials admire the ability to inspire, strategic thinking, decisiveness, interpersonal skills, passion, and someone who is a visionary. The graphic below illustrates these findings.

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What are the implications for ministry from this research? We need to pay attention to how we communicate our mission and vision. If we come across as wishy-washy or indifferent, we will not attract the younger generation. We must communicate our passion for our spiritual beliefs. This does not mean giving lip service; it means being authentic from the inside out. We can only attract Millennials when they know that we are committed to walking the walk.

What other implications can you draw from this research?

You can download the full report here.

 

Related Posts:
Millennials and God: New Study
Millennials Open to Spiritual Discussions

Learning From the “Dones”

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Who are the Dones? They are the “dechurched”—Christians that no longer go to church. Once the most active members of their own congregations, 2.7 million Christians leave the church each year.

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In their upcoming book, Church Refugees, sociologists Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope submit that one of the best strategies in reversing the trend of people leaving the church is for churches to prevent them from leaving in the first place. Easier said than done? Thom Schultz, founder of Group Publishing, recently wrote that churches need to spend more time listening to long-time church members before they leave. He said that we need to ask them questions, such as:

  • Why are you a part of this church?
  • What keeps you here?
  • Have you ever contemplated stepping away from church? Why or why not?
  • How would you describe your relationship with God right now?
  • How has your relationship with God changed over the past few years?
  • What effect, if any, has our church had on your relationship with God?
  • What would need to change here to help you grow more toward Jesus’ call to love God and love others?

These are insightful questions that we should continually ask. It is our role, as churches—and individual Christians—to listen intently to those with whom we are in relationship. There is much we can learn from them. We should never stop discipling and guiding others in the faith.

Related Posts
Americans with No Religious Affiliation on the Rise
The Changing Role of Religion in America

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Top Blog Posts of 2014

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Happy New Year!

Thank you for reading my blog posts! I wrote 102 new posts last year. The top 5 were:

1. Your City’s Sin Index

2. Divorce Rates Higher Among Christians

3. Noah: Christian Film Review

4. Killing Jesus: Christian Book Review

5. Research Reveals Importance of Having Both Parents

Additionally, people from 126 countries took a look at my site in 2014. Unreal!

 

I pray that you will have a blessed and productive year! Let me know if I can serve you in any way.

Shawn

Parenting Special Needs Children

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Parenting is a tough job. But parenting children with special needs is exponentially more challenging. Fifty-three percent of marriages with a special needs child that end up in divorce point to the child’s disability as having “some” or “major” influence on the eventual dissolution of the marriage (Shapiro, 2003).

Children with special needs can affect the entire family:

  1. Jealousy or embarrassment from siblings. Children with special needs require more attention with everyday life. Because of this, siblings may feel left out. They may also feel embarrassed of their special needs sibling in social situations or in public.
  1. Communication struggles. Children with special needs often have difficulties articulating, understanding, or processing verbal communication. This can cause parents and siblings to feel frustrated. It can also be extremely difficult for the special needs child.
  1. Disenfranchisement from other family members. Because the special needs child frequently has some kind of physical limitation, families are often restricted in the activities they can do as a family. This may cause feelings of resentment toward the special needs child.

What can parents do?

I am the father of a special needs child—a daughter with Cerebral Palsy. My wife and I have done some things right and made plenty of mistakes with her. Following are some things we have learned that any parent can do to help foster well-being:

  1. Get to know your child. Spend time with her. Do things with her that she likes to do. Give her individual attention. This takes time, but know that if you do not invest time with her now that you will regret it later. Your child is special, and she is worth your time!
  2. Play with your child. What if your child is physically unable to go on hikes or be away from home care for long periods of time? Find things you can do together. Our daughter has an incredible memory. We have discovered that she is very good at games that require a good memory. And bowling is easy—just put up the bumpers!
  3. Get help. Do not be too proud to seek help. None of us have all the answers. We can go to counseling and support groups. There are lots of organizations for special needs children that can provide things like physical therapy and specialized equipment, such as Shriners.
  4. Develop their individuality. The natural inclination of many parents is to do everything for their special needs child. Your child is likely more capable of doing more than you give him credit for. We can guide him toward developing his own individuality by teaching him problem-solving tools and basic life skills such as cooking and balancing a checkbook. If there is a problem at school, we can offer a listening ear and together brainstorm possible solutions.
  5. Experiment with different learning styles/discipline. None of us have all the answers. We need to recognize that each child is different and requires a tailored parenting approach. There is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to parenting. At times, behaviors of a special needs child may be interpreted as disobedience, but your child simply may not understand. Be careful that you do not discipline prematurely.
  6. Educate yourself. We knew nothing about CP before our daughter was born, so we looked for ways to understand this disability. Books can be very helpful. One book I would recommend was written by Lynn McDaniel, who has CP, called, I Can Too!.
  7. Take care of yourself. Parenting a special needs child can be so consuming that it is easy to neglect ourselves. We all need time to recharge and regroup. Find what works for you and plan it into your schedule.
  8. Be patient! There is nothing easy about parenting a special needs child. Never give up. Be patient, and know that your efforts will make a difference in the long haul.

 

Resources:
McDaniel, Lynn (2003). Yes, I Can! Publishing Designs, Inc.

Singer, Jonathan L. (2012). The Special Needs Parent Handbook: Critical Strategies and Practical Advice to Help You Survive and Thrive.

Shapiro, A. (2003) ‘No Time for Us’: Relationships between Parents who have a Disabled Child. A survey of over 2000 parents in the UK. UK: Contact a Family

Shriners
http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org

 

Related Posts
Parenting Children With Special Needs [podcast]
Blended Families Podcast

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