The term “millennial” has been at the center of conversation in the workplace, in church, and in politics for the last ten years. Growing up in the digital age, many have found the millennial generation difficult to understand, hard to work with, or simply disrespectful.
As this generation ages, we are no longer teenagers and middle school students, but adults contributing to society, small business owners, voters, employees, and even parents. It is becoming increasingly clear that the significance of the millennial generation and their impact on society as a whole cannot be ignored.
So, how does an older generation connect with millennials in a healthy way?
We asked Gabrielle Bosche this question during an exclusive audio interview inside Kirk Cameron’s The Campfire. Author, speaker, and the creator of The Millenial Solution, Gabrielle is the leading expert in generational diversity and Millennial engagement. She has developed millennial engagement strategies for presidential campaigns, Fortune 500 CEOs and even top government agencies.
Gabrielle says that her first book was written for this very reason: How should the older generation relate and connect with millennials? She shared that after visiting many youth groups in high school with pastors that were “trying so hard to be relevant” that they tried to look younger, she had to address this problem.
“We want an older generation. We want someone with wisdom to help us not make mistakes. You don’t have to cover up your gray hair.” She goes on to share a note of encouragement to the older generation:
“Don’t put off investing in the next generation because you think you’re not relevant or cool enough. We’re not looking for relevance or cool. We want authentic and we want the truth.”
If you are someone with years of experience in a career, in a marriage, or in ministry, know that the millennial generation is hungry to learn from you and to be mentored by you. If you think that just because you have gray hair, you won’t be heard, that’s not always true.
However, Gabrielle does think an apology from the millennial generation is due.
“We have come across as disrespectful, and we have come across as dismissive, and that has hurt us in the long run.” She explains that there should be generational reconciliation from both parties involved. Millennials should seek out counsel from their parents, grandparents, and church leaders. Though, the older generation also has the responsibility to pour into those younger than themselves.
Listen to a clip from the interview below: