(image by David Eyestone, used with permission.)

I view the Millenial perspective as especially urgent this election year.

As the parent of two Millenials, what they see makes me sad.

They are still fresh enough to see the discrepancies between what they are being told and how they are actually living, and they still care enough to take it personally.

They don’t believe what older generations are saying about America, specifically the following points:

1) America is the greatest nation on earth.

I remember the night Obama was elected for his first term. My kids were crying with joy, and my daughter said, ” Mom, tonight America lived up to the hype!” Whether one agreed with the results that election night or not, all came together to do something historic. France said, ” This is the America we love!”

Since that time, I’ve lost count of the number of times my children have seen the entire government shut down due to Congressional petty politics. We have been at war their whole lives. This generation has no reason to have faith in their government, charged with running the country.

More importantly, these kids understand how interrelated and interdependent every country on earth is, and feel they are citizens of the world. They will not buy into the us versus them mentality.

They know social security, job security, and perhaps a middle- class existence will not be there for them. They understand they will have to hustle their whole lives, and stand out in every way from the pack. There is a reason for their drive to be famous, to be a brand, instantly recognizable.


2) We are the land of opportunity.

Not for them. A large number of them are working minimum wages, after shouldering mountains of debt to get the college educations they were told would assure their futures, and from their perspective, no one seems to care if they can live on that wage or ever pay off the debt.

In fact, Congress declined to lower the interest rates for college loans, and minimum wage has been nothing more than an election year hot potato.

Employment figures include any job; so yes, my daughter, who graduated with a Fashion Merchandising Degree, with a minor in business, is employed– but she works at DSW for $9 an hour, which is two dollars more than most local retail stores pay. So with a college degree in her field, she is worse off than if she had skipped college and gone to work in a retail store straight out of high school.

Ditto for her friends. One worked for free in an internship for two years until finally getting a job, with sizable debt to pay off. Another left the country.

Increasingly the land of opportunity is someplace other than America, for these graduates.

It really hurts me to see that some in this generation believe they are a permanent underclass, with diminishing chances of rising. That may seem very fatalistic, but how does a person making $8 an hour plan or invest for their future? No one is saying social security or Medicaid will be there for this generation, not even the politicians. No one is talking to or about this generation at all.

I know the results for graduates of Ivy League schools are very different, but most people don’t go to Ivy League schools. Perhaps even more importantly, this generation wants to be out in the world, and feel a part of it. They aren’t afraid of places they’ve never been.

3) America is the safest nation on earth.

For whom? This generation was in elementary school or younger on 9/11. Safe, impregnable America does not exist for them.

While we may deny, our children have been watching. We keep talking about our enemies over there. We are more likely to be hurt by our fellow countrymen then anybody over there.

How many mass shootings have there been just since Sandy Hook? This isn’t a political piece about guns or mental health; it’s about our children, and so, it’s about both guns and mental health. What do these young people see being done about these two huge looming issues? Nothing. What we do is less important, than our willingness to do something.

4) You are the hope of the future. We want to hear your voice!


I don’t know if it was coincidence, ” election fraud reform”, or something else, but both of my kids, who were in college, attempted to vote in the last election and were turned away. Both, like very many college students, were going to college in cities other than the city they were born. They had their voter registration and their IDs, and were told “You must drive back to the county where you registered to vote.”

We vote on a Tuesday, and classes are held the next day. If the voice of young America matters, why not make voting day a student holiday, so they can get to where they need to be to vote?

We want to teach this generation so many things: the value of a work ethic, actual face- to face conversations, independence, simply being happy in one’s own company, and yes, how to get out of their parents’ basements!

But perhaps the student is also the teacher. There have been tectonic shifts in our world, and it is we who need help adapting.





In response to all of the press devoted to the Flight of the Millenials, someone asked,

“ Why doesn’t someone write about the rest of us?”

I thought it was a great idea, because one of the things I discovered in writing my book was there are very few differences between them and us when it comes to shaking up our faith. In fact there is no “us” and “ them.” We start out in different places but end up in the same place, with one key difference, and that makes me sad.

Unlike the Millenials, my generation is used to and for the most part wants to be part of a physical church- It just doesn’t seem that the Church wants us very much. All of the examples below are simply different heads of the same beast. What follows are a few suggestions very lovingly and humbly submitted by one who was formerly a member of this Lost Tribe, in case anyone is interesting in getting us back



1) WE ALREADY BELIEVE. Please stop trying to convert us.

Just as we are overjoyed when a loved one quits smoking, we are overjoyed when a new believer is born- but that isn’t necessarily an invitation to tell us how to live. Maybe it is, but please wait for the invitation.

2) WE ARE FED UP WITH McCHURCH. Hey, it has taken us a lifetime to discover and love who we are as unique creations of a Creator who loves us, not despite those unique qualities, but because of them. We are not going to be put back in the pre- fab box. The non- denominational church movement occurred in our generation because people got fed up with church rules that had nothing to do with spiritual concerns. People who challenged Biblical interpretations previously carved in stone sparked the emergent church phenomenon in our generation. This is who we are. We don’t want our church to look or act like IBM or McDonalds. We want it to be sacred and special.

3) WE ARE MORE THAN MOTHERS AND WIVES, if you will only let us be.

Women seem to have a fundamentally different experience of religion than men and, in a disproportionate number of instances, it is less than pleasant. There is a cultural overlay of discrimination that is often confused with or even intertwined with religion resulting in women experiencing different things. I have literally lost count of the number of women I have talked to while writing or as a result of writing the book, who have overcome sexual bias to arrive at the top of their fields and become leaders in their community only to be invisible in their churches. They are encouraged to serve while their male counterparts are encouraged to lead. The Bible may call to serve, but each according to his gifts. We have the gifts of prophesy, healing, teaching, discipleship and yes, ministry- not just the ability to nurture. Please see us.

4) WE HAVE GIVEN/ VOLUNTEERED TIL IT NOT ONLY HURTS, BUT HAS EITHER BECOME A CODEPENDENT COMPULSION OR A SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL EXHAUSTION. Please do not make us feel like we are not enough for having human limitations that we have learned to respect. We have had to teach ourselves that we are valuable for our compassion, wisdom and experience in and of themselves. We wish you felt the same way.

5) WE KNOW WHO WE ARE. This may seem trite, but it is anything but trivial for so many of us who grew up with the God of the Smite Button and have had to battle with ourselves and our religion to finally be who we really are. We have walked that long, dark night of the soul, when only God answers, and have found that He is enough for us and we are enough for Him. If it’s a choice between Him and you, you know whom we are going to choose.


5(a) PLEASE DON’T TELL US WE ARE BAD CHRISTIANS IF WE ATTEND A CHURCH OTHER THAN YOURS. It abrogates our free will and implies a reciprocal loyalty that is not there. Religious consumerism was born in our generation: it’s a little late to put that genie back in the bottle. We have watched what happened to friends who tried to institute reforms and were broken against rigid church doctrine. So many of us continued to attend churches that hurt us spiritually out of a misguided sense of loyalty, that the discovery of options in this area is very precious and sacred.


An artist is an artist is an artist. It’s how we express our spirituality and hopefully inspire others. Emotionally moving art sneaks up on the soul by going through the heart instead of the mind. Please don’t funnel us into “leadership” and understand that we are already leading in our way.




We have already spent decades on the perfectionism merry go round and have figured out it doesn’t get us into heaven. It just gets us a prescription for Prozac. Please don’t judge our insides by how our outsides may appear. We are sick of trying to be a perfect somebody else. We want to be the real us.