by Jim and Judy Raymo
William Carey Library
—Reviewed by Brian C. Hull, assistant professor, youth ministry; director, Christian Ministries Resource Center, Asbury University
The Millennial generation’s (those born between 1982 and 2002) values are quite different than those that have come before. This has led to a tension and even separation from the Church and its larger mission. In light of this tension, many in the Church are asking if the Millennials will pick up the torch of cross-cultural missions and ministry. Will the Millennials commit to the mission of the Church? Will the Church commit to helping the Millennials answer God’s call on their lives? Jim and Judy Raymo offer their hope-filled perspective in this book that works to explain the mindset of Millennials and some methods the Church might utilize to include them in missions.
The focus of the book is for a relational call to cross-cultural missions that is grounded in a strong, biblically-based theology of mission that could unleash Millennials for Christ around the world. The Raymos work to help mission organizations understand and build bridges to Millennials. This is a much-needed posture for those who have “gone before” as the Raymos have with many years of working with young people in missions. Too often, people have tried to name the differences between generations without attempting to build bridges of relationship between them for the sake of the gospel. This book is a breath of fresh air in that regard.
The description of Millennials and their values relies on a lot of popular research, and while it is quite helpful, there are some things the Raymos could have added. In particular, the National Study of Youth and Religion and its findings on the prevalence of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism would have offered some more specific clarification of the Millennials, their values, and the powerful influence of parents and other adults on their lives. However, the book does an excellent job of using stories and quotes from the Millennial Blog to illustrate their greater points.
The Raymos do a good job comparing and contrasting the characteristics that are needed to survive in ministry when working with Millennials, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses this generation brings to their call. This is a great help to those who are committed to involving the Millennials in mission.
The book is easy to read and a good overview of the Millennial generation and their values. It fills a much-needed spot advocating for both the Millennials and for the mission organizations that have gone before. It is particularly helpful for those involved in mission agencies, established churches, social justice groups, and campus ministries as they work to communicate with and invite the Millennial generation to answer the Great Commission.
EMQ, Vol. 51, No. 2 pp. 233-234. Copyright © 2015 Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMQ editors.