The Mindset List: Class of 2017

Dr. Chisholm shared this during the Wednesday night Bible study on August 2, 2017. Below is compiled from his PowerPoint presentation.

The Mindset List: Class of 2017 | Created by Beloit College as a reminder to faculty to avoid dated references when teaching the students. It has become an internationally monitored catalog of the changing worldview of each generation. Most of the students graduating this year were born in 1995.

A look back . . .

1950—the credit card

1953—transistor radio

1955—TV remote control, microwave oven, polio vaccine

1959—1st copy machine

1960—1st heart pacemaker

1961—cordless tools

1962—communications satellite, video games

1967—1st coronary bypass surgery

1969—ATMs “"On Sept. 2, our bank will open at 9:00 and never close again!" —Long Island branch of Chemical Bank, advertisement from 1969


1973—Magnetic Resonance Imaging
1978—GPS (2000*)
1979—Sony Walkman
1982—1st laptop invented
1989—World Wide Web
1995—Windows 95

More likely to have borrowed $ than their Boomer parents;
their parents foresee 4 years, students pretty sure it will take longer;
many students will take courses taught at a distant university by a professor they will never meet.

The use of smart phones in class may indicate they are reading the assignment they should have read, or they are recording every minute of the lecture. . . Or they are texting the person next to them.

If they admire Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, they may question the value of a college degree in the first place.

Though they’ve never had chicken pox, they are glad to have access to health insurance for a few more years.

By the time they hit their 30s, 4/10 voters will be their generation.

Whatever employers think of them, politicians will pay them close attention

For this generation of entering college students, born in 1995, Dean Martin, Mickey Mantle, and Jerry Garcia have always been dead

Their TV screens get smaller while their parents’ screens grow larger;
they are the sharing generation, having tendencies to share everything, including possessions, no matter how personal;
rights of passage are more to do with having their own cell phone than a driver’s license and car

GM means food that is Genetically Modified

As they started to crawl, so did the news across the bottom of the screen

As their parents held them as infants, they wondered whether it was the baby or Windows 95 that had them more excited

Having a chat seldom involved talking

Gaga has never been baby talk

They could always get rid of their outdated toys on Ebay

They have only known 2 presidents

A tablet is no longer something you take in the morning

Captain Janeway has always taken the USS Voyager where no woman or man has gone before

Spray paint has never been sold legally in Chicago

Courts always been ordering computer network wiretaps

Thanks to Amber alerts, parents have always had community support in keeping children safe

With GPS, they’ve never needed directions

Java has never been just a cup of coffee

Americans and Russians have always cooperated better in orbit than on earth

Their parents have always grieved the passing of Calvin and Hobbes

In their 1st 18 years, they have witnessed the rise and fall of Tiger Woods

The U.S. has always had sanctions against Iran

They have never attended a concert in a smoke-filled arena

As they slept in their cribs, the OKC bomber and Unibomber were doing their deadly work

Don Shula has always been a fine steak house

They’ve never really needed to go to a friend’s house to study together

They’ve always been able to plug into USB ports

Washington DC tour buses have never been able to drive in front of the White House

Their parent’s CD player is so ancient and embarrassing

A Wiki has always been a cooperative web application rather than a shuttle bus in Hawaii

Millennials are looking for people to be real and honest about struggles and temptations

Millennials are seeking authenticity—they have been marketed their whole life and sense when something is fake

“We can find God elsewhere.” (39%)

“It’s not personally relevant.” (35%)

“Church is boring.” (31%)

“It feels like God is missing from church.” (20%)

“The church is out of date.” (8%)


•Attend church to be closer to God (44%)

•Go to learn more about God (37)

Getting outside the humdrum of their every day lives to experience transcendence—worship, prayer, teaching—is a strong desire.

A church is “a place to find answers to live meaningful life.” (65)

"Church is relevant for my life." (54)

"I can be myself at church." (49)

•Millennials are skeptical about the role churches play in society, but their hope is what role the church could play.

Information willing to share

First name only (82%)      Last name also (53)

Phone number (12)      Email address (33)            Physical address (19)

  Millennials are the least likely generation to say the church has their best interests at heart (1/3); this is one reason they want to stay ‘off the radar’ until they are comfortable at church

   The worship experience begins at the door. Millennials want to know where things are without asking—especially if its their first time at church

Millennials are leaving church in large numbers: 70% raised in church leave in their 20s; 1/3 of those under 30 in US have “no religion”.


Deeper Complaints about the church

More than 1/3 say negative perceptions are a result of moral failures in the church leadership. And substantial majorities of millennials who don’t go to church say they see Christians as judgmental (87), hypocritical (85), anti-homosexual (91) and insensitive to others

The church doesn’t care about the environment, justice issues, or service to the community (church is just ‘going to a building for an hour)

Christianity is aggressive and critical

A Few Final Thoughts

•One on one relationships (not just a number); relationships are more important than programs or style

•Church should model community: love God and love others

•Intergenerational relationships (those who have an older mentor from faith community 59% more likely to stay in church than those who don’t)

•Millennials want a ‘seat at the table’ involved in ministry

“How do we get them to come?” Is the wrong question.

Modern Era Questions (1517-200)

What does regular and consistent church attendance look like?

How can we reach the younger people in our community?

What worship style do we need in order to grow as a church?

Why won’t more people give to the operating budget?

How can we get more people to volunteer?

Post Modern Questions (2000--)

What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus now?

How seriously are we willing to engage in Jesus’ teaching?

When Jesus-followers come together, what do they do?

What kind of sacred partnerships do we need in this faith community to support and challenge us to live as disciples?

They want life to have meaning with Christ-centered community.

They can be encouraged to return to church as we understand generational differences and what is meaningful to this demographic—not as a group of people but as individuals; not as a person who warms a pew, but a person who warms a heart through real relationship.