Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Let Me Tell It! An Analytical Examination of the Responses and Reactions of Millennials to the Black Church
by Parker, Brianna K., D.Min., Virginia Union University, 2016, 143; 10745040
Abstract (Summary)

In a time when Black millennials lead statistical data in imprisonment and other negative data, millennials are overlooked in positive data that allows for better financial stewardship and ministry approaches. The purpose of this research is to hear the voice of Black millennials on faith and the Black church. The Black church cannot sustain itself if it loses this generation due to lack of communication, understanding, and relationship. Using mixed method ethnographic research, data was collected using the snowball method of surveying, small group conversations, and interviews. This created a multidimensional depiction of millennials, not as a monolith but as a biological generation with a collective sense of ideals and understanding that do not define the generation but penetrates the culture. The data embodies men and women born between 1981 and 1996, representing more than thirty-six states, of different sexuality, familial backgrounds, education, socioeconomic levels, faith backgrounds, and incarceration experiences. There were 1,117 participants surveyed, four small groups engaged, and four interviews.

The results were clear. Millennials want to be valued and engaged. Black churches represent relationship for millennials in unique ways of surrogacy for some and accountability for others. Millennials have hope for Black churches, since they are able to connect them to outreach opportunities that benefit them and their communities in a spiritual experience that accepts responsibilities of the Black churches of old. Communication between Black churches and millennials is restricted and superficial. Churches have made more assumptions than inquiries, leaving them programming blindly. If churches are willing to ask questions, listen, and act with authenticity in mind as opposed to numerical bragging and the creation of Stepford Christians, they will benefit from unique gifts and souls that will not only sustain the church but catapult it into a trailblazing institution whose product matches the brand.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gise-Johnson, Alison P.
Commitee: Gould-Champ, Patricia, West, Nathaniel
School: Virginia Union University
Department: School of Theology
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Theology, Ethnic studies
Keywords: Black, Church, Contemporary, Faith, Millennials, Religion
Publication Number: 10745040
ISBN: 978-0-438-42878-2
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