Research tells us that while the millennial generation wants to make a difference in their world, they are not willing to do the hard work it takes to get the job done: “I want to save the world, so I bought this cool bracelet.” This past week I experienced just the opposite. I have renewed my faith in a generation some have given up on.
I spent the last seven days in Honduras with a mission team from my church, Cross Point, in a ranch near San Marcos de Colon owned by Mission Lazarus. In the past decade, this work has been able to start 19 churches, 4 schools, 3 medical clinics, a sustainable life program, 4 vocational schools, an orphanage and employing over 140 Hondurans. It’s one of the most dynamic young mission organizations I know. Interestingly, while its founder and board of directors operate in the US, most of the hands-on work is done by a group of very talented and committed 20 somethings.
I was impressed by the breadth and depth of the ministry but even more impressed by the commitment and maturity of its young staff. While most people in their 20s are trying to figure out what they want to do in life, Cameron 26, Meredith 27, Rebecca and Seth 25 are managing the local staff, leading thousands of gringos in medical brigades, school programs, construction projects, food distribution, while operating a large working ranch. Oh, and they also work alongside the Honduran church leaders to make sure the work is owned and led by nationals.
Personally, I am processing of what that means to me as a leader, employer, and father of millennials. While I’m not sure of all the implications, one thing seems to stick out to me: wisdom and leadership are not the product of age; however, energy is. I’m sure to remember that next time I interview for a new position at my firm.
What’s your experience with the millennial generation?