Listening to Millennials: Surviving and Thriving in a Changing Culture

Listening to Millennials: Surviving and Thriving in a Changing Culture

Listening to Millennials: Surviving and Thriving in a Changing Culture

These resources are recommended by Center for Congregations workshop presenter and cultural analyst John Seel, who facilitated the workshop Listening to Millennials in September 2018 and April 2019. For additional resources, contact the Center at 866-307-2381 or check out the Congregational Resource Guide at

Heck, Joel. From Atheism to Christianity: The Story of C.S. Lewis. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2017. This is a careful examination of the spiritual pilgrimage of C.S. Lewis. Many young people are following in his well-worn steps from atheism to pantheism to theism.

McGilchrist, Iain. The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World.  New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009. A British neurologist, McGilchrist connects the brain science with cultural analysis revealing the distortions of perspective caused by the Enlightenment. Millennials align with McGilchrist’s critique. For a brief overview of the argument, see:

Newbigin, Lesslie. The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society.  Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989. This book features a British missionary pastor and ecumenical church leader’s observations from his years of service in India about effective ministry in the pluralistic West. He anticipated the frame shift seen in contemporary millennials.

Seel, David John. New Copernican Conversations Blog. Accessed August 27, 2018. John Seel’s blog addresses spiritually frustrated and homeless millennials. It serves to further illustrate themes from his book.

Seel, David John. The New Copernicans: Millennials and the Survival of the Church. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2018. Religious News Service declared this the best book written to date on millennials and the church. The book builds on the analysis of Taylor, McGilchrist, and Newbigin, whose work is also featured in this resource list.  

Smith, K.A. James. How (Not) To Be Secular. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2014. This book is the “Cliff Notes” on Taylor’s A Secular Age, by Calvin College Canadian philosopher James K.A.  Smith. It is a must read for church pastors and denominational leaders.

Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007. This is the Canadian philosopher’s magisterial 900-page work on the changing nature of belief in the contemporary world.

Windrider Institute. New Copernicans. Accessed August 17, 2018.  Created by filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, this is a series of short videos on the new Copernican ethos.