I’ve spent some time with a new book from Haydn Shaw the last couple weeks. If you’re trying to reach Millennials, Generational IQ is a book you’re going to want to add to your stack. Shaw has researched and helped clients regarding generational differences for over twenty years. He is also the author of Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together and FranklinCovey’s bestselling workshops Leading Across Generations and Working Across Generations.
Generational IQ is packed with great insights and well reasoned analysis of the research that most of us have been reading. At the same time, this is a very readable book and well-written. My copy is marked up, underlined, starred with several dogeared pages with ideas I don’t want to forget.
You’ll appreciate the way the book is organized. It begins with a section that teases out how when you were born shapes your relationship with God. A chapter each on Traditionalists, Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials and covers what shaped each generation, their strengths and temptations. As a resource, this section is very helpful and will get a lot of use.
The middle section is where I spent the most time. These four chapters provide both insight and coaching into four of the concerns that many of us have about reaching (or parenting) Millennials.
- “What do I say to friends who claim, ‘I’m spiritual but not religious'”?
- When will my twentysomething move out of the basement?
- How do I reach my twentysomething who is drifting away from God?
- What do I do when my kid is putting off marriage but not sex?
Like the first section, I really like the way these chapters are organized. There is a well-reasoned analysis of the underlying issues but there is also some excellent coaching on how we ought to respond. I can definitely see Generational IQ as a resource that will get a lot of use by staff and key volunteers tasked with developing a strategy that will reach Millennials.
The third section provides several key insights from the church perspective. If you’re wondering why Millennials aren’t coming to your church or how to help the other three generations understand the issues that are barriers for them, you’ll want to read this section carefully. You’ll also want to put this book in the hands of your church’s leadership. These understandings should be shaping our responses.
Generational IQ is a very helpful read. I know I’ll come back to it repeatedly as we shape strategy and I’m confident you’ll feel the same way. I loved it and I know you will too.
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