Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Challenge of Meeting Generational Differences

The challenge for the Christian Church today is figuring out how to minister to 5 different generations at the same time. While there are many sub generations, the general generations are:
  • The Greatest Generation – those born 1925-1945
  • Baby Boomers- those born 1946-1964
  • Generation X- those born 1965-1979
  • Millennials- those born 1980-1995
  • Generation Z- those born 1996 and later
The challenge is great because each generation has their own cultural context that formed their views and values.

You can begin to see the different morals, values, ethics, and preferences in each of these generations. Those who experienced WWII or the Civil Rights movement in childhood will have a different outlook on the world and the church. The same is true for the Millennials who grew up in the rise of the information age with the internet, the war in Iraq, and rising gas and food prices.

So what does the church do with these differences? That is the challenge of leadership. Each generation wants their needs met, even though they are so diverse.

First, we need to pray for wisdom (James 1:5). Second, we need to challenge each generation to embrace and live out the mission: introducing people to a personal relationship to Jesus, developing them into fully committed followers of Jesus, and equip them to reach their city (beginning in their own neighborhood) and world.

In order to develop and implement a strategy for each generation to reach their peers, the strategy for each generation will be different from the others. Perhaps the most important thing we need to do is pass the baton to the upcoming generation. We might not like the thought, but each generation will eventually die and new generations, with their own cultural occurrences, will rise up.

I believe we must pass the baton to the next generations. How do you think we are doing at First Free in passing the baton? Next week’s issue of Freshly Bru’d will present five questions we must ask ourselves if we hope to meet the challenge.


P.S. I will be interacting with Dr. Dorlus from Haiti concerning how we can reach others with the Gospel beginning in our own neighborhoods. Join me in worship at 9:15 and 11:00 this Sunday!

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