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.
- Great "read" for anyone
I didn't know what I was getting into when I downloaded this book, but I really enjoyed it. It is an engaging look at the world in which Millenials (those born in the 20 years leading up to 2000) are growing up. It helped me understand the younger generation of kids in our church, as well as my own kids. I highly recommend it.
- An unbalanced assessment
Although the book presented many interesting facts in an engaging style, I think that the author’s conclusions are suspect at best. While they openly acknowledge that the data they analyzed came only from the Millennial Generation, they make constant comparisons to the three generations that preceded the Millennials and offer repeatedly hopeful predictions about the wonderful contributions the Millennials will make. Given that they don’t reference ANY comparative statistical responses from the “the Greatest Generation”, the “Boomer” or “Gen X” (taken when they were in roughly the same age range) it is not clear how they can know, or would even want to suggest, that the Millennials outlook is significantly different than any of their predecessors. If you take away these un-backed compressions, I’m not sure what you are left with. That said, much of their assessment rings true with my experience with that age group (I’m at the tail end of the Boomers) and I guess time will tell if the book's assessments hold true.
As a millennial myself, I found the research to be surprising in someways (my generation is dedicated to families?!) Thom and Jess give an optimistic outlook on my generation, but not sugar coated (my people are foolish when it comes to God). However, my complaint is that the book has too much repetition. Facts and info could have been stated more succinctly.
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- Great Perspective from their Research
I think the differences in the different generations are facinating. I also thought it was great that the two authors split up to give their perspective from each of them (one in his 50s and one in his 20s). Very easy to listen to the whole book on a long roadtrip or in the background of one day of work. Definitely worth giving a listen.
- Excellent book
The Millennial Generation – the group of people born from 1980 to 2000 – is the largest generation in America’s history, a title previously held by the Baby Boomer Generation of 1946 to 1964. This generation promises to make a tremendous impact on the US and the world due to both its shear size and its approach to life. Thom Rainer and Jess Rainer, a father-and-son team, set out to find what defines this generation. They and a team of researchers conducted a study of 1,200 adult Millennials and found both great diversity and many characteristics that unite Millennials. They published the results of the study in their book entitled, appropriately enough, The Millennials.
I listened to the audiobook edition, read by Ray Porter, and found it fascinating. The information that the researchers revealed about the generation that I and Jess Rainer share is truly remarkable. The book includes many personal stories of the research subjects as well as statistics on everything from religion to family relations to media to money and work ethic. The authors look at not only the raw statistics but also the “why.” Millennials, for the most part, have closer relationships with their parents than adults in earlier generations and they explore possible reasons for this. Millennials are not satisfied with getting high-paying jobs and buying “stuff” – they want to make an impact and the authors offer some insight into this statistic as well.
Although one could argue that members of other generations might find this book more beneficial than I would, I came away from it with a better understanding of my approach to life and the differences between my generation and other generations. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it.
Regarding the audio recording, I found it exceptional. The narrator did an excellent job and the quality of the recording was also excellent. I will be looking for other books read by Ray Porter.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this audiobook free from the christianaudio Reviewers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
- Worthwhile listen for those who seek to understand America’s new largest generation
Thom Rainer pairs up with his Millennial son, Jess Rainer, to research and analyze the up-and-coming generation, the Millennials (born 1980-2000) from a Christian perspective. The resulting material can be a bit heavy on the statistics, but Ray Porter’s dynamic voice helps bring the numbers to life as the authors depict the mediating, change-driven, and family-oriented commonalities of this age group. Since the authors carried out a considerable number of interviews and they limit their evangelical bias primarily to the last chapters of the book, it can be a valuable general resource. The Rainers’ insights make this a worthwhile listen for those who seek to understand America’s new largest generation and their motivations, fears, hopes, and perspectives on religion. R.Z.R. © AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
- My understanding of the Millennial generation changed because of this book.
As part of christianaudio’s reviewer program, The Millennials by Thom S. Rainer and Jess Rainer came across my inbox one day. Today’s culture, especially in business where I focus, is an ever-shifting slope.
I have always held firmly to the fact that this generation can help shape the existing workforce. This book is written with a distinct bias towards the evangelical, Christian perspective and that is clearly stated upfront. Throughout the book, key ideas pop up that do not point specifically to their bias, rather they identify it as a cultural perspective. The strong bias perspective is not evident until the last bit of the book where they clearly state it.
I had always heard that Millennials were:
- Didn’t care about previous generations
- I want more money
The truth is, as the authors point out, that our perspective is a bit incomplete. The Millennial generation wants to make huge impact on the world around them. Here are a few perspectives:
- Work & Life – they want it. They don’t want the either / or option.
- Family is everything – The “helicopter parents” of this generation have provided a tight bond between parents and children.
- Divorce is not an option – they desire to get married only once, and will work hard at keeping it together
- Religion is not a priority – more and more millennials are walking away from faith. Most have disillusioned by organized religion and want nothing to do with it.
- Education Generation – the millennials are on course to be the most educated generation in history
- Technology – this generation uses technology (text, email, phone, Skype, etc) to stay connected to those closest to them
This book is chocked full of stats and figures to some of the most insightful questions facing this generation. If you work with youth or just want to have a better understanding of the generation, that is now, the largest generation in history, I would encourage you to pick up a copy of this book today. I have already passed a copy on to my boss for use in his community group.
- Educational and Relevant
The Millennial Review.
This book is excellent. I believe everyone in any sort of church leadership should listen to this book. My wife and I are on the older side of the Millennial and this book describes our feelings towards most churches perfectly. We also know other Millennial that share the same sentiments.
There is also vital information in the book for employers on how to retain and best use their Millennial employees. Listening to this book as a Millennial I felt myself nodding up and down repeatedly in agreement. The parts I enjoyed most were the continual quotes directly from the Millennial in the study.
I am a statistics and numbers geek, as I can tell the writers of this book are as well. If you aren't as excited by statistics and numbers, you might find some parts of the book boring, but they are short.
The narration is also excellent.
- Interesting findings on today's young adults
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.
- Learned a lot from this book
Thank you to the christianaudio (http://christianaudio.com/) Reviewers Program for providing this audio book to me for my honest review.
In this book authors Thom S. Rainer & Jess Rainer share the information gained from the research they have done on the millennial generation. Those involved in this research include those born between the years 1980--2000. This group numbers 78 million and is larger than the baby boomer generation. The authors interviewed 1200 older "millennials" from across the nation.
Being close to this generation in age myself, I found it interesting to learn this generation's thoughts and opinions on various subjects including money, family, the environment, religion, and work. One thing that really sticks out from this book about this generation is the importance placed on family and relationships. Relationships are key to the members of this generation. I was a bit surprised to hear just how low of a percentage of members of this generation are Christians. The book closes with an overview, tying all the information together as well as asking the question how can the church use this information to reach those in this generation.
I enjoyed listening to the narrator, Ray Porter. He was easy to hear and made the book enjoyable for the listener.
- A great listen!
This is a very insightful book that climbs inside the minds and hearts of the millennial generation, and tracks what they are doing, as well as why they are doing it. While this generation is still in the formative stages in many regards, there are trends and mindsets that the authors map out for the reader that are distinctive and ingrained in this generation at a foundational level. They are building the structure of their lives on these core values and thought processes. Anyone who ignores these insights will not connect with, understand, nor influence positively this age group.
The father – son team add a unique dimension to the content of this book in many ways. One particular example is the way they process the statistical data from different angles. The father processes the data from outside this generation, while the son gives personal insights from within this generation. They tend to be a little repetitive on some themes, and I think some trends attached to this generation in the book will change as they age, but overall this book is a fabulous source of information about this generation. The millennials are the largest generation in American history, which makes this book worth the time and effort in order to be informed.
Ray Porter does a great job narrating the book. He has a great voice that is not distracting, but enhancing to the content.
- Excellent Narration
This audiobook is narrated by Ray Porter. Porter provides an excellent impersonation of the Rainer brothers. Carrying a softer voice, the narrator reads the text as if one were at a conference listening to the lecture presented. Porter has clearly and brilliantly taken the text from paper reading format to the class study that one may better be able to relate to. It is easy to understand the information presented, as the format Rainer wrote in also allows for an easy audiobook transition.
See the score and more at: http://infinitlove.com/aae
- Solid Statistics
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. At the same time, this generation’s Christians are as radically committed to Christ as any generation in memory.
The Millennials is an interesting and helpful look at the differences in generations. The book has helpful insights into how churches might want to think regarding this younger generation. While no church should compromise its teaching or the commands of Christ in order to “bring in” the latest generation, a look at the facts of a generation as the Rainers have provided can certainly help church leaders to better understand the thoughts and motives behind those who may be quite different than they themselves are.
For this review, I was given a free download from ChristianAudio.com as part of their reviewers program. Ray Porter does an excellent job of narration and the recording is solid in every way.
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