The American Dream. Ah yes, that’s the thing we hear all about it from Pastors in pulpits (do we still call them that?) all over our country on the weekends. It’s meant several different things for different generations, but somehow we’ve pigeon holed it.
For one generation, the American Dream was about freedom from a tyrant leader of their country. For others, it was about opportunity; opportunity to worship freely, opportunity for gender equality, and opportunity for a fresh start. For another generation, it was about the pursuit of wealth, accumulation of stuff, and vacation homes. We often preach against the later.
May I make a bold assertion? As Student Pastors, when we preach against the American Dream to our students as the accumulation of stuff, pursuit of wealth, and owning vacation homes, I think it often falls on deaf ears. Not because they don’t care, but because it doesn’t resonate with their generation as a whole.
The Millenial Generation is a generation who is passionate. They want to succeed, but their success is measured on a different level. Their accumulation of wealth doesn’t lead to a strong desire for a bigger house or a vacation home. This generation would rather use that accumulation of wealth as a means to something else. They would rather take that money and go to Africa and build a village, go to Central American and dig a well, launch an organizaiton to stop human trafficking in Asia, or develop a shoe company that gives a pair of shoes to someone when you purchase a pair. They’re different. (For some great resources on this, check out The Millenials and Soul Searching) They desire global impact, and it’s at their fingertips.
What this generation needs is the gospel as THE reason for global impact. Student Pastors, we must keep preaching the gospel as better than the accumulation of stuff, but this generation is different. The American Dream is shifting. Let’s hit’em with the gospel and unleash them on the world.
This could be the generation that ushers in the kingdom.