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The Millennials [Kindle Edition]

Thom S. Rainer , Jess W. Rainer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 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.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Statistically Sound December 26, 2010
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting insights January 20, 2011
By Joanna
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but repetitive July 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book for a number of reasons. For one it was reviewed by Trevin Wax whom I respect and admire. It was also about the generation I am a part of, and thought it would be interesting to see firstly how easily I have given into the prevailing culture and to get some insight on how to reach those in my generation for Christ. Like the authors I am an Evangelical Christian with similar motives. The research conducted also made this book seem attractive. The book did have some interesting facts, but there wasn't enough revelatory info from the research to make it truly great. I found it most helpful when they said that the biggest challenge for Christians is not overcoming objections to the faith but overcoming apathy. So insightful. However the book suffered from a lot of repetition. So many chapters simply stated the same facts from the previous ones. It could have been shortened quite a bit. I was hoping for more info on the interviews themselves, maybe some transcripts of how their conversations went. The whole book had a clinical feel to it. This may be in part to all of the authors confessing their love of numbers and stats. Another fatal flaw of the book is that for all the amazing research the authors did, they still did not go far enough in their analyses. One thing I wish they had touched on more was the issue of same sex marriage and co-habitation. I knew the stats from the book but the question of worldviews and reasons why this generation believes what it does was left largely unanswered. This was dissappointing, because as a millennial I am alreasdy aware of the trends, I just want to know WHY they are happening. I don't know if the authors ever bothered to ask the respondents why they felt the way they did. Perhaps they were just more interested in what they believed as opposed to why.

Overall the book was helpful and I did pause and quote sections to my wife as I read it, but I get the feeling there are probably more helpful books out there.
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11 of 14 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very important book to help us understand the younger generation.
Published 14 days ago by DG. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for today's Christian.
As a pastor this book was an eye opener. It helps answer the questions that most pastors are asking, "why don't we have more young people in our church? Read more
Published 22 days ago by Ryan_81
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for pastors and church leaders
If we are going to be effective in reaching this generation we need to learn appropriate the knowledge and suggestions given in this book.
Published 1 month ago by Roger D. Haber
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it.
Clear explains their behavior and thinking process. I enjoyed it.
Published 2 months ago by Armantina R. Pelaez
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great Book!
Published 2 months ago by Rev Drake
5.0 out of 5 stars Needed
Church leaders need desperately to ingest this information, so that they can quickly lead their churches to do what is necessary to reach out to this beautiful and promising... Read more
Published 2 months ago by BR3NT
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!!
I am a millennial, and as I read this book, for the most part I felt like I was reading my autobiography! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jaimie Flack
5.0 out of 5 stars The ChurchRleating to Young People
I found the auhtors could have included a little more meat in this book. While helpful, it was short on strategies for engaging millennials in actually considering a church.
Published 3 months ago by Gretchen L. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Future
Excellent book that our church staff reviewed as it is our future of our church family. Bought 20 copies of this book. Action plan developed
Published 4 months ago by STBC
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Thom Rainer does a great job profiling a uniquely un-profilable group of people. Great words of encouragement and challenge for leaders in all fields, especially for the church.
Published 8 months ago by Alex C
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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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