About the Research

50 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Christian millennials in positions of leadership.

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Forge Leadership conducted 50 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Christian millennials in positions of leadership – ten people in each of five sectors – churches, agencies, public sector, private sector, and third sector. These were conducted mainly through online video conferencing and occasionally through face-to-face meetings.

To complement the qualitative data, and give a voice to more millennials and greater clarity on their leadership development needs in this changing environment; Forge Leadership conducted an online survey. This was completed by 442 millennials in leadership in the same five sectors.

The primary interest in undertaking this research was to inform the character-based leadership development of Christians who are working in all sectors of society. This original definition of focus stemmed simply from the fact that many of Simon Barrington’s (Forge Leadership Founder) contemporaries in leadership were from the Christian sector. However, as this research progressed, we began to identify patterns that had implications for a generation, without being limited to individuals with a faith.


We were challenged by the lack of emerging leaders taking up significant roles across the whole of society while showing evidence of inherent security in their own identities, deep integrity, the strength of character to last the course, as well as the insight required to take hard decisions and therefore be able to influence the transformation of the whole of society.

The vast majority of the research was focused on millennials’ leadership development, the culture they were creating, the opportunities and challenges that they faced, and their identities as leaders. A small number of questions focused on their Christian faith.

As we have dialogued the results of this research with leaders of all faiths and none, in a diverse cross-section of public and private sector organisations, we have encountered a remarkable resonance and empathy with our findings from these leaders. We are confident therefore, that they will resonate with you too, and that we can all learn from them as indicators of how millennials are leading and how they intend to lead going forward.

All names have been changed and identifying details removed from this research.

Identity findings

Culture findings

Leadership Development findings

Opportunities and Challenges findings

Spirituality findings

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