One-on-One with Brianna Parker on African-American Millennials and the Church

The pressing questions shaping African-American millennial faith are issues of injustice.

Ed: How would you describe the state of Christianity and the church among emerging adults—18 to 29-year-olds—today? What are their biggest questions, concerns, or motivations?

Brianna: It is an exciting time in the church and Christianity for emerging adults. It’s not an easy time, but it’s exciting. The church has, far too often, been bandwagoners who have followed trends as opposed to blazing cultural trails. I’m hoping to see believers begin to invest in the work of entrepreneurs who want to lead and trail blaze in the tech world.

It’s also exciting because we are engaging millennials with unprecedented courage to help us to lead from their lens. The biggest faith question is “why?”. Why does my faith walk matter? Why can’t my relationship with God look different than others in the past? Why can’t I engage God and others in new ways?

I believe the biggest concern is authenticity. This is difficult for many to hear because it shines a light on the dusty corners of our closets, showing the parts we did not expect to be unveiled.

Millennials are motivated by the unknown; they plunge into mystery and paradoxes. The lack of limits and ceiling breakers are motivating and will benefit the kingdom.

Ed: You founded Black Millennial Café in part because you saw a glaring need for substantive research on the religious lives of African-American millennials. Talk a little about how your research meets this need. What are the pressing questions or challenges that are shaping African American millennial faith and relationship to the church?

Brianna: My research allows African-American communities, organizations, and churches, along with those interested in healthy millennial …

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