Reaching Millennials- Proven Methods To Engage The Next Generation: How do we talk about sensitive topics to a generation who may not agree with us? What is the best way to communicate without pushing them away? Tune in now to find out.
Air Date: 01/16/2019
Guest: Audrea Decker
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith and how they impact the culture.
We always look at these issues from a biblical historical and constitutional perspective. David Barton is with us he’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton’s with us national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders and my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator.
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We’re gonna be talking about millennials today. So let’s see there’s three of us hosting this program. Two of us are not millennials.
The Negative Perceptions of Millennials
No, I identify as a millennial.
Oh, you switched. We were counting on you to be the millennial. Good good good.
Yeah. Yeah. Tim and I are not the millennials. David is the millennial.
Yeah, I identity as one and you can’t tell me I’m not.
No, we judge a tree by the fruits, and we’ve paid to you. You are the millennials, sir.
Yeah. Why is that an insult?
Yeah, I go there.
Ok, millennials that are out there listening don’t you know don’t turn the radio off yet. We’re not totally just going to insult you today. We’re going to actually. We’re also going to tell you how amazing you are.
Yeah. If you’re listening to this program, you’re probably the exception to the generic thought around millennials right.
That’s right. Right. No doubt. Well, guys, it is the perception of millennials is pretty negative and it’s typically because of celebrity millennials right? I mean everybody seems to think all millennials are gonna be like a Kardashian or like you know what’s the gal’s name they just got elected to Congress
Alexandria Castillo Cortez
Congresswoman Alexandria Castillo Cortez.
That’s the one. Yep, her. So I mean not that she has had any gaffes or anything she said publicly that would embarrass any member of Congress such as being confused on what the three branches of government are and some other things but I don’t know. Can you think of anything she said that maybe hasn’t shined well on
Well, she really is like the epitome when people make fun of millennials. Her logic is it’s kind of the epitome of what it is my perception of millennial. She said a lot of interviews where they’ve asked her about the budget and you know how are you going to fund your project and your programs and for people that aren’t aware you really should YouTube some of her interviews, and there are some cringe-worthy moments. I mean even since she’s become a congresswoman her first week up in Congress. She was fact-checked with several things that she said and said unfactually, incorrectly.
And she tweeted that you know really you should evaluate your you should fact check the spirit of what I say, not the details of what I say. And then she tweeted about how it was utterly ridiculous that she’s been fact-checked as much as President Trump and she shouldn’t be held to the same standard as President Trump. And one of the fact checkers came back and said Excuse me, ma’am, we have fact-checked Trump over 7000 times, and we’ve fact-checked you twice, but you’re not
Come on that’s nearly the same, Tim. Well you know you’re you’re splitting hairs here.
Yes. Really apart from being totally opposite is basically the same. That’s right. But it’s you know it’s this victim mentality, and people should love me and just agree with me and don’t listen to what I say. Listen to what I meant and how I meant to say it. And so many things that really is this again – this epitome of every negative perception or connotation people have when they talk about millennials. It seems has been wrapped up in someone that’s now an elected official. Although she has a huge following and Dad, I know you even looking up some of the things she said that were pretty special.
Some Things She’s Said
Yeah. Here’s one that got my attention, “as unemployment is low because people are working 80 hours a week.”
I don’t think it’s how unemployment work.
I don’t think that. Here’s one
Wait, can you say that one again? Unemployment is low because
people are working two hours a week.
Yeah. I think that same interview she talked about it. It’s low because people have multiple jobs and are working 80 hours a week. And it was like equating you know the reason is because when you have more than one job, that’s what makes it low. Like, no. It’s not more hours and more jobs. That’s not how that works.
Here’s one: a 17-year-old can walk into a shop and purchase an assault weapon.
I would like to know where that happens because I’ve been missing out on being able to do that for years. So yeah I would like to know that shop. I don’t think that exists.
Here’s one: capitalism won’t always exist in the world. It always has.
OK, no, I mean if you’re pro-socialism right. Maybe she’s claiming in faith. No, we’re all gonna be socialists, okay.
Oh here’s a good one, “we’re going to flip this seat red.” She doesn’t know she’s in the Blue Party. She has no clue what.
No she knows by her being elected it’s going to flip the other direction and I don’t know.
Yeah, there are some crazy ones. “Electing Democrats is basically ending slavery.” Mm-hmm.
Not sure I get that. “Defeating global warming is pretty much like when the Allies defeated Nazi Germany.”
OK, so poignant case right.
Do you want some more? I mean we got plenty more.
No, we don’t have enough time in the program to go through all of her gaffes. Right. Again you know if a listener if you guys want to see more you can Youtube some of her interviews it really is that special. But
Is she related to Joe Biden by any chance?
Well no. You know. Yeah, definitely some similarities. But but it does raise the question right. If this is where much of the millennial generation is and it’s no surprise. She has an economics degree and doesn’t know hardly anything about economics. When she talks about her economic policies and the tax ideas she has. You quickly realize she has no idea how economics actually works but this is the education system that she went through.
How Can We Reach The Millennials
And this is where you see so many millennials. So the question arises how do we really reach millennials. Right. If this is the position, they’re coming from, if this is they’re thinking, right a lot of people get frustrated and put out their hair. How do we reach them? By the way, even if you’re a millennial listening right, you have friends, and you’re going OK they’re not thinking the right thing. What can I do? How can I reach them? And this is something that we have several friends who do a lot of work with the next generation. And we’ve had many of them on the program to interview before one of them we have today Audrea Decker.
And she’s somebody who’s worked with WallBuilders for a long time. She’s done a lot of work with the next generation. She and I have done stuff together. Conferences together, speaking, doing things. And another one of our friends has joined us. But this is something we try to focus on how can we really reach the next generation, and we ourselves are millennials. So what can we do to reach our peers, our friends to reach this next generation? And so Audrea Decker someone coming on the program to really get into what can we do to reach millennials. And she’s got some really great thoughts on how we can engage the next generation.
Stay with us folks. Audrea Decker our special guest today. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. After the final victory at Yorktown, the Continental Army awaited the outcome of peace negotiations with Great Britain.
Pastor Israel Evans, a chaplain in the army, proposed to George Washington that they build a structure where church services can be held during the months of waiting. Washington approved the plan and urges officers to ensure that the soldiers attend that service.
Pastor Evans further knew if we were to secure the liberties they had fought for, sound education would be crucial.
He declared, “Every parent and every friend to the freedom of his country ought to be attentive to the improvement of our youth and the principles of freedom and good government. And then the people will stand fast in their liberty for a long time.” Our schools today need to return to teaching the principles of freedom and good government in order for America to survive and prosper. For more information about Pastor Israel Evans and other colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com.
Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live.
Audrea Decker is back with us. Going to talk about how to engage millennials. By the way, This Precarious Moment, David Barton’s new book available right now,WallBuilders.com, dives into this subject as well.
Audrea’s Executive Director of the ProFamily Legislative Network. She’s also has been the president of I Am Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization she started while in college reaching tens of thousands of students on Christian university campuses. She’s worked for Glenn Beck, Dr. Jim Garlow and lots of our other friends and she’s making a difference out there Audrea always good to have you. Thanks for your time today.
Yeah. Thanks so much for having me.
Hey so, by the way, do you still live in Texas or did you move to New York?
So I’m in Manhattan. I’m in New York now.
You left God’s country for the North.
I did. I did. I know.
Is this mission work?
That’s right. We go back to Texas and get recharged then and then come back to the city.
Well, you guys do great work. And we’re blessed to get to work with you. And one of the things you do so well is both with us, and other people is to really help to engage millennials. Really learn how to speak their language and really take our values and pass that torch effectively to their generation.
A lot of our listeners are concerned about this topic. I mean it whether it’s personal with their own kids, their own grandkids or just what they see generationally and they’re wanting to know; What can I do? How do I do this better? How can my ministry a lot of you know legislators and ministry leaders listen to the program.
What’s your general advice for people when they’re saying OK we need to reach millennials at such a broad topic? How do you approach this right?
Changing The Messaging
Yeah, it’s a great question.
I mean first of all you’ve already plugged This Precarious Moment, but that is the best explanation I’ve ever seen on how to actually effectively engage this next generation. But you know one of the things that I commonly tell people is its really it’s just changing the messaging. You know that the message doesn’t change. The core principles that we believe in of course as Christians are still the same and they never change, but the way we communicate them to the next generation does need to change.
And so there’s really some easy ways that we can really tailor our message to this next generation and make sure that we are being persuasive ambassadors of the truth of God’s word and the relevance that it has in our lives and in our government and in our nation.
And so really you know twofold it is the messaging, and then it’s building those one-on-one relationships -with Millennials and Generation Z. And that goes a long way in really bringing them along with the principles that have been proven to work throughout human history.
Would you say it it’s the same for kind of the personal level? I mean literally talking to your grandkids or our children as it is for a major ministry or someone in the political realm that’s speaking to thousands?
I think so. You know a lot of it comes down to those personal relationships, and a lot of it comes down to asking key questions you know. Many times I’ll sit down with a millennial or someone a generation Z, and they might even be a self-described socialist or atheist but as they begin to really break down some of the core issues and have a dialogue and a conversation and just asking questions. Usually, it’s me just wanting to better understand what they believe and where they’re coming from. And it usually causes a lot of very thoughtful pauses and questions that they maybe haven’t heard before.
And so I think that’s something that that as an organization or a national leader is certainly something that can be used but also on a one-on-one personal level. If you’re sitting down having coffee with someone in the millennial generation or Generation Z, I get to know them. Understand where they’re coming from.
I mean, unfortunately, you know this is as well as anyone. I mean this next generation has really been lied to in so many areas. And so presenting the other side but also letting them lead the conversation and asking questions will usually cause enough thoughtful dialogue that they will think long and hard about what you share with them.
And that’s sometimes a real shift in just habits. Frankly, because we tend to, if we’re older and we’re talking to somebody younger, we’re thinking oh I want to give them this wisdom and I want to help coach you in this or whatever.
And we just start rapid fire with information, and they feel like they’re being preached at, or you know disapproved or whatever. And what you’re saying really shifts that when you turn around and you validate them as a person by being willing to listen and then you’re asking the key questions that are you know learning what they believe. But at the same time making them think that seemed so much more effective than just you know pour in the information on them.
Certainly and I think that there’s a unique opportunity for Christian leaders and people even in the older generation to really empower millennial Christians and generation Z with the unique role that they have in our culture and in our world today.
They Want To Make A Difference In Our Country And In The World
You know overwhelmingly millennials say that they want to make a difference in our country and an impact on the world. And that’s an incredible goal. And the vision needs to be cast for them. That’s the best way to do that to transform their communities for good and our nation and our world is through the power of a biblical worldview lived out in our community and in our world.
And there’s nothing that that’s been more powerful that’s brought more hope, more positive change throughout the history of the world than God’s truth. And so when you give that message to millennials and empower them with the fact that they were, you know, created for this time. They have this unique responsibility and unique skills, unique gifts that God has given them for this time in human history.
And it’s really exciting when you when you look at that and when you communicate that to the next generation. I think God is going to use this next generation and a really powerful way that we don’t fully see yet.
But I know that all across the country there are Millennials and Generation Z that are really thoughtful about this issue and I think that when Millennials understand biblical principles they live them out and a pretty powerful way. We just need to make that connection for them because they haven’t heard it they haven’t heard the truth many of them. But it’s exciting I think when we’re millennials do really understand God’s word and the power that they can have in our world today.
Nothing is going to stand in their way. So it’s just it’s up to us to help them make those connections.
They Are Looking For A Cause
I love what you said. I mean they are, they want to make a difference, it sounds like. I mean their cause-oriented. They want to know what their doing is going to have an impact. They’re looking for that cause. And you know somehow, some way, the left tends to be or has been in the last few years at least better at casting that vision and giving them something to work towards. Even though it typically isn’t truth, and so here we are with the greatest story ever in the answers and truth, and we’ve got to learn how to cast that vision and give them a chance to be a part of the solution.
And I agree with you 1000 percent I mean I’ve seen in the eyes light up and the excitement in them when they realize, wow I can make a difference I can have an impact. And it’s for good, it’s for truth it’s for justice justices for the right things. It’s just exciting when you when you pull those two together.
If I could shift a little bit with you here one of the people that have been seen at least in the general public now is kind of you know the representative of the millennials is the new congresswoman from your home state. I can’t believe I’m saying that but your home state of New York.
Representative Alexandria Cassia Cortez we’ve seen her a lot on the news we’ve seen her major you know gaffes and things like that. But she is being embraced by a lot of young people. So what do you what’s your analysis of that? I mean how do you kind of see that impacting millennials and do they, will they kind of latch on to her or do you think there’s, you know some conservative alternatives that are also some new young up and comers out there?
Product Of Our Education
Yeah I mean she it’s been so interesting to watch her involvement even the first few weeks or so that she’s been in Congress here.
I mean, first of all, I think the reason why she is where she is today is just it’s a product of our education. And again this is something that of course WallBuilders knows all too well. But I mean we’ve been teaching that capitalism is evil and socialism and communism is good and I mean that’s written into many of our textbooks and higher education.
And so it’s hard to get away from those lies that have been spread for the last few years and so I mean the fact that she is really championing socialism and come out so strongly against many of the principles of capitalism and free-market is really just because that’s what we now teach.
And so I think in our conversations again with millennials and the next generation I mean we’ve got we’ve got to shed light on the other side and ask questions because they really don’t know what socialism and communism is. And so we have to have those conversations.
She’s Cast A Vision For The Next Generation
But you know the second reason why I think she’s really gained popularity even among the next generation is this – it gets back to that fact that she’s really cast a vision for the next generation.
You know I heard her describe her green, new deal that she’s been promoting in Congress. And one of the ways that she described it was as the civil rights movement of our generation. And I thought that was so interesting. I mean she’s describing to the next generation the way they’ll make an impact, and they’ll be known in their generation. And so I think that we need to do that as conservatives and as Christians describe to the next generation what they can be known for and the impact that they can have on our culture and on our nation.
And certainly, we know that to have a positive impact it’s ultimately not going to be promoting socialism and communism it’s going to be through the proven principles and truths have that have worked and that have a history of working.
That’s right. That’s right. Do you think she is kind of going to be given a pass in many ways by the media and even colleagues in Congress because of her age or her kind of you know being probably the most outspoken socialist on the House side?
And kind of a new thing I guess. I mean do you think they’re going to push back or do you think she’s going to get a pass here to have her moment of fame?
Divide Between Democrats And New Wave Of Progressive Socialists
Yeah you know it’s this it’s this divide right now between the Democrats who have have been in Congress for decades and this new wave of really progressive socialist democrats.
I mean her green new deal hasn’t gotten a committee yet. It hasn’t gotten the attention that I think she would like it to. But when you look at the people that she has surrounded herself with Bernie Sanders for instance and a lot of his supporters. I mean there really is a movement that is very socialistic and progressive. It’s really different from the traditional Democratic Party. And I think again that’s just because of our education system.
So I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to see more candidates like her, across the country you know gain popularity.
But I think it just proves again the point that we need to get really passionate about our messaging and make sure that we’re communicating it in a way that is an exciting vision for the future because it is. And really we can move forward in exciting ways as a country when we get behind free market principles of life and liberty that are going to work for the next generation.
Yeah, it should make it easier on us to cast that vision when we know based on history when it’s when it’s done. As Bob McEwen says, these principles only work every time they’re tried. So we’ve got principles that work, we’ve got the solution.
I know right.
We ought to be excited about it.
Audrea, thank you so much. God bless you. Keep up the great work.
Look forward to getting you back again soon.
Thanks so much, Rick.
Stay with us folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Burton.
Bring A Speaker To Your Area
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There’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.
Talk To Them About Issues Without Pushing Them Away
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us special thanks to Audrea Decker for joining us today, talking about millennials and how to reach millennials.
And David, Tim I mean of course I was asking you from the standpoint of even as a father and a lot of our listeners thinking about their even their own grandkids and college and saying, you know how do I talk to them about these kinds of issues without pushing them away.
I love the fact you said it’s essentially the same way for guys like us speaking to a radio audience or national ministry or whatever it might be. And I loved how she talked about their cause-oriented. They want to make a difference, and if we can cast the vision, she even used that phrase. If we can cast the vision effectively, they’ll get on board. They need to know the truth. They need to be spoken to as adults and have the opportunity to, you know, share their passion.
This Precarious Moment
Well let me echo something she said when she talked about how the book that Dad, you and Jim Garlow did – This Precarious Moment
And that you did as well.
Well, it has a section on millennials that really I think is one of the most practical sections on how to engage relationally, how to have conversations. Understanding kind of that, you know that the battle map of what you’re dealing with when it comes to millennials. It really is an incredible section that you know, she said she’s using any book or anything that really covers this topic as well.
So it really is a great option for listeners if you’re going, how do we reach this next generation? This Precarious Moment is the book. I mean you can find it on the WallBuilders website. You can get it on Audible and listen to it. Really great stuff.
But Dad you were even commenting during your interview of how it’s easy for an older generation to be critical or to make fun of a lot of the dumb things that perhaps a millennial might say they learned in college.
Learn To Speak Millennial Values
Yeah. And it’s the kind of thing you know Audrea was saying, that you’ve got to learn to speak millennial values.
Well, that’s what the Bible says you got to be. A Jew to Jew, Greek to the Greek and whatever you are you’ve got to learn to speak and their language. And she pointed out the principles don’t change but the way we communicate them does. And the typical thing for older generations who have been through a lot is you hear these quotes we read in the first segment, and you just laugh at her and say, How dumb are you? What kind of education? And that will never reach a millennial.
And you’ve got to be able to do as she said you create a relationship. You ask key questions but making fun of them and laughing down, which is a tendency when you’re an older generation say how silly that stuff is. That’s exactly the opposite of what needs to happen.
So the creating of relationships, the get into trust, let’s go have a coke together. Hey, I saw what you said about unemployment, why do you think that? Well, interesting you say that but did you realize that? Have you looked at this?
And and so you can take them into a different position just by friendliness and asking questions, but you can’t do it by making fun of them are that derision. So what Audrea said about being able to speak their values and being able to speak their language.
You Can Do It
That’s something the old generation needs to learn to do, and by the way, you can do it.
Jesus talked about you don’t want to be an old brittle white skin you want to be a new flexible white skin. I don’t care what your age is, you need to learn to communicate with millennials and take the time to be with them and ask questions and get a trust relationship going.
Good, Respectful Biblical Forms Of How To Communicate
It’s interesting that all of those rules we talked about today are just good, respectful frankly biblical forms of how to communicate and talk to each other and respect other people.
A lot of good advice that Paul would share even in the in the Epistles, so it actually always comes back to that right, if we’ll just treat others the way we want to be treated. And sometimes we don’t do that if they’re not the same age as us and well, we would consider to be our peers. And I think the take-home message is to use those same principles when you’re talking to those of a different generation as well.
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