Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Gary J. Bredfeldt


Millennials, Engagement, Church Leaders, Millennial Discipleship, Millennials in Ministry


Leadership Studies | Religion


ecent trends reveal the sharpest decline in Church attendance in the Greater Hartford area has occurred within the population known as the Millennials. A question that is looming and of significance in this decade is what causes this generation to be attracted to some Churches and not others? Ten Protestant inner-city Churches within the Greater Hartford Area were studied to discover if there is a nexus between millennial participation, church leadership, and tools for equipping the millennial population of the church body. This study discovered several factors which impact millennial engagement which include, social influences, political ideologies, technology, and generational gaps as major drivers of Millennial engagement. Authenticity in leadership, acceptance, and technology were the top 3 emergent themes from the coded data. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to understand and explore the perceptions of Millennials and senior pastors of the motivating factors which lead to engagement. For the purpose of this study, Millennials are defined as those born between 1981 to 1996 or aged 24-39. The servant leadership authored by Robert K. Greenleaf was helpful in understanding engagement levels for this study. The current study provides Church leaders with a knowledge of the preferences and servant leader characteristics that attract and engage Millennials.