In a previous post (August 2017), we discussed two of the four pillars of Stewardship (Hospitality and Formation) as they relate to Millennials with some Do’s and Don’t’s. Today we will discuss the other two pillars of Stewardship: Prayer and Service
Remember: Millennials make up more than 75 million Americans and most people think they aren’t passionate, authentic, or into relationships. That stereotype gives this generation born between 1981 and 1997 a bad name in business, online, and the Church. More than 25% of them identify as “none” regarding their religion, and this number is increasing year by year. This doesn’t mean they aren’t passionate about causes they believe to be authentic. Millennial Catholics who are involved in their parishes or other non-profits continue to surprise older generations with their commitment to what they believe in.
Prayer is the basis of every relationship with God. Prayer is to the soul what food is to the body and without it we would not be connected to the Lord or the Church. It is through receiving God’s abundant graces that we grow in holiness. The connection of prayer brings the Eucharist into Stewardship. According to the Catechism, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith and a relationship with Christ. It is through the pillar of prayer that we help our parishioners develop their individual relationship with the Lord.
- Invite people to a real encounter with Jesus Christ and encourage them to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer.
- Focus on authentic Liturgy creating an environment that welcomes people on all areas of their faith journey.
- Provide a variety of opportunities for prayer at the parish such as a Rosary group, Eucharistic Adoration, celebrations of the Saints, and more for people in all levels in their faith journey.
- Assume that a parishioner already has a relationship with Christ
- Feel as if you have to cater to cultural music trends in order to engage millennials
- Assume families are too busy or not interested in prayer or don’t care about it just because “life is so busy in our culture.
Service is how we put our love for the Lord into action. As James states: “Faith without works is dead.” This doesn’t mean St. Peter is going to be checking our Community Service hours at the pearly gates. It does mean that without actions, how would we show our love? If a husband says “I love you” on his wedding day and then proceeds to ignore his wife for the next 50 years, would we say that he was in love with her? Probably not. Service to the community, within our parish, and our families is the outward sign of our love for the Lord. It’s how we live out the Sacramental Grace we receive in Baptism, Confirmation, and weekly reception of the Eucharist. It is inseparable from our Love for the Lord.
- Build service events so the entire family can get involved regularly: shorter time commitments while making a big impact that can be done frequently.
- Invite people personally to get involved, especially when considering ministries for serving at Mass.
- Determine what your parishioners are passionate about and then serve in those areas in a big way whether it’s a local community organization or a sister community overseas.
- Share with the entire community how each person is making a difference through your print & digital communications as well as from the pulpit by Father.
- Schedule service events only during the day when working people can’t join.
- Make parents find baby-sitters for events because their kids can’t participate.
- Make large sweeping invitations – invite people personally!