This Missions Leader Says Church Shouldn't Give Up on Millennials

Gabe Bahlhorn with his wife, Hannah
Gabe Bahlhorn with his wife, Hannah (Facebook/Gabe Bahlhorn)

Generations seem to be a popular topic these days. We often relate what a particular person or group does or the way they behave to their generation. Millennials get a lot of bad press today, especially in the Christian world, where it seems many have left the church. But 15 years ago, Gabe Bahlhorn, my guest on a recent episode of The Strang Report, began a missions ministry, missions.me, that has transformed the lives of thousands of Millennials. He and I spoke about his ministry and the prophetic vision that birthed it as well as the best ways to serve with and minister to the Millennial generation.

Missions.me began, Gabe said, out of "a passion to unite the church. ... We have an event that started in 2013 called '1Nation1Day,' and the goal and the purpose is to unite the global church for the salvation and transformation of nations," he said. "The world really has yet to see the power of a church that's united. And so we started working a number of years ago with churches from all over the world."

Gabe's ministry focused on a specific passage of Scripture that has special meaning for many. In it, he said, "the prophet Isaiah asked a question. He says, 'Can a nation be saved in a day? Can a country rise or be brought forth in a moment?'"

Of course, many of us see that prophetic word in Isaiah 66:8 as fulfilled on May 14, 1948, with the birth of the nation of Israel. But prophecies can have both literal and symbolic meanings. "We realized that the Bible is full of prophetic messages, encouragement, all sorts of things, from Genesis to Revelation," Gabe said. "And there are certain things that have yet to be fulfilled. And we really felt like this was something that we could believe for, as we began to search the heart of God, we realized that the heart of God is to see cities and nations transformed ... And so for us, '1Nation1Day' through our ministry, missions.me, is an expression of a prophetic promise that the prophet Isaiah gives about going into nations and seeing hope that's restored in nations, seeing people reconcile with their Creator.

"And so it's been a beautiful moment for us," Gabe said. "We've had four of these '1Nation1Day' moments since 2013, every two years. We've been in four different nations. And we've seen absolutely extraordinary things take place, we've gathered just under 20,000 missionaries to these four nations from 47 countries. And it's been extraordinary."

Gabe also gave some very practical advice about the Millennial generation and how Christians can best reach out to them. "Truth is always consistent and always the same," he said. "But methods need to change. The message is consistent, but the methods need to change. And I think it's not that hard of an equation to solve with regard to a Millennial and how you reach some of the younger generation. ... And I don't mean, moving away from truth. I don't mean disobeying the inherent laws of Scripture or anything like that. I believe that it's just simple little tweaks that people can make."

And Gabe gave one other key insight into this generation that has so often confounded the ones before it. "These young Millennials want to be attached to something that is real, that's authentic, and feel something," he said. His organization serves the church at large in an interdenominational way, but their greatest response, he said, has been from the Millennials. "We've been able to take them outside of the box, the four walls they grew up in, and expose them to something where all the rules are different. It's been life-changing for them."

To hear more from Gabe Bahlhorn about how to reach and work with the Millennial generation as well as the great things God is doing through missions.me, listen to the entire podcast here.

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