Whenever church service concludes on a Sunday morning, there is always a single person who approaches Emily and I: Ms. Carol. And she always has one question, “y’all coming to eat with us today?” Her and her life-group have unlocked the secret to engaging the millennial generation. Feed them. You see, us millennials for all our passions and opinions, share one common need: we need food.
But besides filling our stomachs and giving us some much needed nutrition, their ministry to us has had an unintended consequence: its made us feel like we have a family. Emily’s parent’s live in Pennsylvania and mine are scattered all over the world, and as a newly married couple we still crave the comforts of home. And for all the phone calls we make to our parents, nothing beats being able to share a meal with them. We’re able to laugh together, cry together, share stories and jokes. So for a few hours after church on Sundays, we are able to experience that with our new family here in Texas.
Research has shown that millennials are the generation that deeply crave community. It is the single defining characteristic of our generation. The advancements of social media and technology in connecting people online has actually left our generation with a desperate and unquenchable thirst for authentic community. What an incredible opportunity for the church to step into? In fact, if you think about it, the early church in Acts was built around breaking bread with one another! Providing that much needed community that people were seeking!
I am so grateful for the people of Arapaho Road Baptist church, because you’ve been to us a family in a foreign place (Texas is so weird!). And as millennials trying to navigate through life, seeking authentic community, these meals after church have become a source of great joy!