Jon Morrison on Being a Millennial Reaching Millennials
Welcome back to this week’s unSeminary podcast. Thanks so much for joining us today as we talk with a friend of mine, Jon Morrison, who is an author and a blogger. He is a different kind of guest from our usual visitors and he is here today to talk with us about his journey as a millennial church leader and the things he has learned along the way.
- Follow where God leads. // The rags to riches stories in churches are great to hear and give others hope. It seemed that the 100 year old church Jon was working in had that story coming along too when they experienced great growth. But then the executive pastor received a promotion to another place, which left a huge hole in the leadership of the church. At the time, there was a co-leadership model within the church in which Jon was the other co-leader, so he recommended going to a single lead pastor model instead. The church agreed to change leadership and Jon thought he would be chosen as the lead pastor, but that idea quickly crumbled with the words “search committee.” Though the board thought Jon did a great job in a co-leader role with someone else leading and helping him, the board thought that Jon was too young to have the single leadership role. At that point, Jon and his wife thought that maybe God had other plans in another area for them, and so they left friends to find what God had next.
- Take a chance on passing the baton. // 1Timothy 4:12 says, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” The Millennial generation is now the largest generation, but are grossly underrepresented in church leadership. One in three people in the workforce is a millennial, but only one in seven pastors is under 40 in the church. If pastors are serious about passing the baton onto the next generation, churches have to take that chance on younger leaders and allow them to learn and grow in leadership.
- Embrace new technologies. // Many churches are hesitant about social media and aren’t willing to use Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, or else don’t know how to use them in their church. But these platforms are vital in reaching the millennial generation and pulling them into church attendance and leadership. The older generations may be comfortable using these technologies in their personal life, but aren’t sure how to incorporate them within church. It can be a great launching point when churches are open to learning how to use social media within Christianity and getting their word out to other audiences.
- Be ready to give a reason for the hope that you have. // Both inside and outside the church millennials are asking tough questions. Jon stresses how important it is to be ready to address the skeptic or doubter with grace and love while sharing the truth. In Jon’s own experience working with youth, he was being asked a lot of philosophical questions and found that exposing himself to apologetics equipped him to have difficult conversations about topics like science and scripture, suffering, or creation, which could be deal-breakers for the younger generation.
You can learn more about Jon’s books and get in touch with him at his website www.jonmorrison.ca.
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Influential Book // Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud; #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk
What does he do for fun // play hockey, yardwork, spend time with kids