In this post-modern and post-Christendom era that the Western world has entered, many in the church are asking, what has happened to all the young people? The millennial generation seems to have needs and questions that just aren’t getting addressed in most churches today. As older Christians seek to mentor these millennials, there may be a disconnect in how mentorship is approached and understood. Kurt Willems — himself a millennial — describes some of the difficulties of cross-generational mentorship. He also offers a list healthy “postures” for mentoring millennials, five things to never say to a millennial mentee, and five things that millennial mentees long to hear from their mentors. Underneath it all, Willems says, millennials want mentorship to be a safe space — a relationship in which nothing is off limits and where doubts and questions can be freely expressed.
“What those of us in our 20s and early 30s (millennials) crave more than anything from spiritual and ministry mentors is safety. In most mentoring situations that go bad, the number one complicating factor usually comes down to the reality that a mentor was uncomfortable creating space for their mentee to safely ask questions, doubt, or even to disagree.”
If you are currently mentoring a millennial, please take the time to read Kurt’s article. It will be extremely valuable to your mentoring relationship.