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The Millennials [Kindle Edition]

Thom S. Rainer , Jess W. Rainer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Book Description

At more than 78 million strong, the Millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000—have surpassed the Boomers as the larger and more influential generation in America. Now, as its members begin to reach adulthood, where the traits of a generation really take shape, best-selling research author Thom Rainer (Simple Church) and his son Jess (a Millennial born in 1985) present the first major investigative work on Millennials from a Christian worldview perspective.
Sure to interest even the secularists who study this group, The Millennials is based on 1200 interviews with its namesakes that aim to better understand them personally, professionally, and spiritually. Chapters report intriguing how-and-why findings on family matters (they are closer-knit than previous generations), their desire for diversity (consider the wave of mixed race and ethnic adoptions), Millennials and the new workplace, their attitude toward money, the media, the environment, and perhaps most tellingly, religion.
The authors close with a thoughtful response to how the church can engage and minister to what is now in fact the largest generation in America’s history.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest Christian resource companies in the world. Also a respected pastor and researcher, he has written more than twenty books and coauthored the No. 1 best seller Simple Church. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons, are proud new grandparents, and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jess Rainer is the Administration and Outreach Pastor of Grace Church in Hendersonville, TN. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts from Southeastern Seminary. Jess and his wife, Rachel, have two sons.


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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Statistically Sound December 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover
In The Millennials, Thom and Jess Rainer take a look at the unique characteristics of the generation born between 1980 and 2000. Examining this generation, the Rainers uncover many facets of this group of young Americans that set them apart from their counterparts from the Baby Boom generation and Generation X.

The Rainers do what they do very well. The book is written with an engaging style that keeps the mountains of statistical data from boggling the mind or lulling it to sleep. Thom and Jess intersperse statistical survey data with enough personal interview highlights to keep the text flowing and keep the numbers making sense. At the end of each chapter, the authors offer summaries and conclusions that keep the reader tracking with their findings.

Negatively, this book is a statistically-driven work. If you do not like stats and demographic analysis, you probably will not enjoy this book. You can certainly still benefit from it if you will give it your time, but if numbers make your head spin, this work will not keep your attention.

The authors also acknowledge that no amount of statistical analysis can ever predict what God will do in and through a generation. So, while the work is helpful to show us that those born between 1980 and 1991 (the book limits itself to the older Millennial generation) are looking to make a difference in the world, tend to dislike institutional religion that does not impact the community, tend to shy away from harsh-sounding truth claims, and treasure their relationships with their families, we cannot know for sure what the Lord might do with such a generation. As the authors make clear, this generation is the least churched of any in American history.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Repetitive July 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
These two take the "Tell, Tell, Tell" approach way too far. This book could have been half as long with as many times as they repeated themselves. I had to hunt to find the new material in each chapter and section. By the time I was 37% of the way into the book, I got tired of searching for new information. It's rare that I don't finish a book, but this one will go in that category.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting insights January 20, 2011
By Joanna
Format:Hardcover
Young adults are often the subject of much stereotyping in the media and by members of other generations. In The Millennials, Thom and Jess Rainer present their findings from extensive interviewing of young adults.

The book presents a fascinating snapshot of the views and priorities of American young adults on a wide variety of topics. In addition to statistics the book quotes extensively from their interviews. Some of the responses in areas like respect for authority will likely come as a surprise. Responses to some other topics like organised religion are predictable but it still may be helpful to hear the conclusions in such to the point terms.

I am somewhat skeptical of some of the conclusions about how the millennial generation is going to change society for the better. While I don't doubt the good intentions of many of the interview subjects, I am not convinced that the intentions will be as well acted on as the authors believe.

I "read" this book in audio format. While the narration was clear and easy enough to listen to, it didn't really work well for me in audio. I think this was mostly to do with all the quotes.

If you are interacting with young adults in the workplace or ministry this could be a good resource to help you understand them better. Others may find it interesting but a bit long.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good info, but.... February 9, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good info here but I can't imagine such a book without ANY graphs, charts, pictures or other visuals when there are so many statistics to consider when talking about the Millenials, especially when comparing with other cohorts. I ordered it on Kindle and then decided I wanted and needed the graphics that would not have been included in the Kindle version so ordered the hardback. Thumbed through it and was quite disappointed to see absolutely zero graphics. So beware if you're looking for serious research material.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs Documentation June 24, 2011
Format:Audio CD
This book presents some interesting information, but not having the survey instrument, the actual data, the demographics on the 1200 member study sample or even an index erodes the book's value. There is a lot of "filler", such as more than 10 pages devoted to a description/history of various media. There are a lot of negative references to the Baby Boomers.

If you know the Millennials, many of the conclusions seem to have validity. Millennials and older "Xes" that I know, as well as those depicted in popular culture, socialize and consult with their parents, are skeptical of institutional religion, accept diversity, etc. The authors give some statistics for these and other conclusions, but without more complete data on the method and the subject pool, the conclusions are diminished.

One area I'm skeptical about is in the section on money. It is well documented that the Millennials have significant college debt and this is not even hinted at, suggesting that the 1200 member study group is skewed to either an upper middle class that has not had to borrow for an education and/or to those who have not had much education beyond high school. I'd be interested not only the demographics of the sample, but also the survey questions and if they really help define the Millennials on this topic.

The authors take continuous swipes at the Baby Boomers. For instance, the Boomers anti-authoritarian streak is negatively contrasted with the respect of the Millennials' respect for authority. It should be noted that the Boomers had reason to challenge authority. Authority structures were replete with institutional, de facto, legal and cultural racism and sexism.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
Some characteristics of the Millennial Generation may be attributed to youthful idealism enthused by 24-7 instant communication. Read more
Published 14 days ago by R. PHILLIPS
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Highly recommend to anyone wanting to better understand...
Really liked the book. Have read many of Rainer's books on church. I have a strong desire to reach the millennials in my community as a minister at a local church. Read more
Published 23 days ago by jim caswell
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Too much redundancy.
Published 1 month ago by Kathryn Colville
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!
Published 1 month ago by Lizzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love it!
Published 2 months ago by Lillie M. Dunbar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As a millenial, I can vouch for the content of this book.
Published 2 months ago by C. Banker
1.0 out of 5 stars didn't finish it, boring
ZZZZZZZZZ....I just could not get into this book.
Published 4 months ago by J. Donahue
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting
I walked away from this book with extremely high hopes about my generation. It also really makes the boomers look bad. Overall, it was a very good read.
Published 4 months ago by Unquenchable Worshipper
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Book!
Published 4 months ago by Robin Mccormick
5.0 out of 5 stars joeys
Very informative book with practical, workable suggestions for religious leaders. This book obviously is about research but is worth reading for church leaders.
Published 4 months ago by Joey Davis
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More About the Author

Thom S. Rainer (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Transformational Church, Essential Church, and Simple Church.

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