By Aaron Evans, Features Editor

“Your generation is selfish.”

“You’re all too busy on your phones.”

“I’ve never seen a more entitled generation.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard statements like these. I can’t think of a time when I heard good things about our generation — or “Millennials” — from our parents, grandparents, teachers and even our pastors. And in many ways, can you blame them for these statements? Just take a quick look at our Social Media or Music. If we’re not sending pictures that disappear after 10 seconds (because that’s not sketchy) we’re watching people grind on each other and calling it art.

A recent study was done by the Educational Testing Services (ETS) concluding that Millennials were the “most unskilled generation.” The study noted that, “A decade ago, the skill level of American adults was judged ‘mediocre,’ now it is below even that. Millennials, who will form the backbone of this nation’s future, are not poised to lift us out of this predicament; in fact, the lack of adequate skills in this population has become a challenge for us to confront.”

I know, I’m beginning to sound like all the rest. However, there is potential for our generation as being the most open minded generation yet. 

According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are “on the course to becoming the most educated generation in American history, have embraced multiple modes of self-expression [including social media and wider acceptance of the arts], most racially diverse, and most accepting.” And while Millennials were shown to be the least religious, this didn’t affect a “lack of belief in God or regular prayer.”

While it may be true that our generation is misguided, irresponsible, and just wrong in a lot of areas, there is hope for us. I believe Millennials have the potential to be the most impactful generation yet; not just in the job market, but in the kingdom of God. 

Take a look at those statistics again. So far, we’re the most racially and sexually acceptant. For many Christians, this may sound like a bad thing, and done in the wrong way, it is. According to that statistic, we have the best chance of ministering to someone of a different race or culture because of our high ethnic tolerance, which is something generations before us lacked. 

We’re not called to accept sin, but we are called to accept the fact that we are broken and need Jesus, and this generation has been groomed to love the homosexual couple standing in line next to them better than generations before them. 

Imagine the impact Millennials as a whole could have after an encounter with Jesus. We’d be unstoppable. 

To those who speak negatively about those younger than you; your words mean more than you know. How can we expect to succeed when those older than us — our only example of what being an established adult is like — consistently tear us down? While it’s true that Millennials do a good enough job on their own being selfish, lazy and shallow on our own, hearing it from our superiors doesn’t help us become the selfless, Christ-loving young men and women we have the potential to be.  There is so much hunger within Millennials for mentors who are honest yet push us towards our goals. This can’t be done by shaming us into the ground.

In many ways, my heart breaks in many ways for my brothers and sisters in my age range. It doesn’t take a good eye to see the levels of brokenness that has gone deep in the hearts of so many twentysomethings across the world. However, I firmly believe our generation carries a lot of hope. Our desire for genuine community and equality is unmatched. We are the perfect sowing ground for fierce lovers of God to grow. 

In the words of one the fearless leaders of our generation, “haters gonna hate, hate, hate…I’m just gonna shake it off.” I agree wholeheartedly, Taylor. It’s time for those who speak against us to see the potential that lies underneath.