So you might have seen these young,casually dressed individuals around your community, cafe-haus, or in your church pews and wondered…”who are these people?”
These people, my friend, are Hispanic Millennials. Hispanic Millennials are defined as individuals born from 1981-1996 and make up the largest racial group in the U.S. A large number of Hispanic Millennials were born in the U.S. making them proficient in speaking the English language. This is a shift from older generations as they preferred their native tongue.
As you begin to identify and interact with members from this group I have listed below 6 characteristics that make this group unique. (I only provided a small list but am confident this will allow you to meditate on and start planning). It will behoove you to consider these characteristics when planning material and ministry opportunities.
Family focused- Hispanic Millennial men are more involved in children activities than prior generations. Churches will need to seek opportunities where men can serve alongside their families. My wife, my girls, and I, along with other families, volunteer in a community soup kitchen and this helps me spend special time with my girls.
Community driven– They seek to form relationships beyond their four walls. Shortly after Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Coast a young Millennial reached out to the Convencion director and mobilized a group that would travel to the coast and provide much neeeded supplies. While leading a small group I provided them an opportunity to identify areas in which the congregation could serve. There were several ideas all with a heart for the community. They included providing breakfast burritos to neighboring apartments and shopping centers, a career services team, and a clothing closet.
Strong desire to connect with cultural roots– While fewer speak the Spanish language they still seek to connect with their heritage. We see this in marketing and more recently in Hollywood’s productions. When we first attended our previous church we sought those older gray-haired couples that resembled or reminded us of our “abuelos”. As a result, we became members of the congregation. BTW the Mexican meals provided were a special touch too!
Sense of belonging– My wife and I longed to be a part of a group where young and old couples came under the same roof and shared each others trials and victories. Seeing that this presented an opportunity we sacrificially and humbly allowed our home to be this sanctuary for four great years. My wife and I are both recipients of long-life friends because of this opportunity.
They are confident and optimistic– Yes, they think that anything we set out to do we can succeed in. Many grew up in homes where their parents struggled financially and experienced doing without and now they believe it can only get better. They have the “It can only get better” mentality.
They value transparency and authenticity- Don’t try and sell to them. This is a big turnoff and will have a less than desirable impact. They can see right through the smokescreen.
You as a church leader are in a unique position to embrace this group and minister to them. The calling will not be an easy one as a large number of Hispanic Millennials are “detached from institutions” including religion, a study by the Pew Research group concluded. I am encouraged that this calling presents a great opportunity to share the gospel and convert, then disciple, and finally promote into leadership roles.