millennials and secrets

There are times when a minister

a teacher

a classmate

an elder

a pastor

needs to be “dismissed”




But here’s my theory: I think two generations now have been a little chafed by the unexplained dismissals. Youth pastors who disappeared. Music ministers who were shuffled off mid-week. Pastors whom we never, ever saw again. Even classmates who sat behind us in English… or teachers who stood in front… and then… one day didn’t anymore.

The problem wasn’t the disappearance. Hard calls have to be made sometimes, and they’ve been made in ministries for a lot longer than the past two generations.

The problem was that some hard calls weren’t really explained by those making them.

This sort of “propriety” used to be automatic and expected. Our authority figures were there to be admired, not questioned. But I think for Gen X, this wasn’t okay anymore. The bubble of “infallible authority” – from Presidents to pastors – had been burst. And one result was that people chafed under the same secrecy that was once preferred.

Members of Generation X (as a generalization) may have been too cynical to fight the system. But Millennials, while often having that same annoyance over anything resembling machinations of “The Man,” are not too cynical to care. They might complain; they might fight the secrecy; they might leave.

They might also respond really well to being kept “in the loop” instead.

Like I said, this is all theory. And I’m not making a judgment call, just an observation.

But based on what I’ve seen, my guess is that regardless of what the “adults” prefer, “secrets” and inside info held by the select few at the top (of a church, of a school, of a business) will be less and less tolerated by those they serve.

Including our college students.

(This has come up for me twice this week: once in person, and once reading this news from CT about Northwestern College. The biggest thing I noticed in the article was how present students are thinking / caring about the recent difficulties…)

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