"In his analysis of data from the General Social Survey of five-year windows in which individuals were born spanning from 1965 to 1984 and published by the Barna Group, Ryan Burge...shows that younger generations raised in the church aren’t typically returning to church when compared with members of the 'Baby boomer' generation." - Christian Post
"In all my time pondering this question, I have come up with what, in my mind, are two primary reasons we are losing the next generation. There are no doubt other factors, and I might be overstating my case, but I want to take a minute and share with you why I think I see why my friends leaving Christianity." - Pursuing the Pursuer
"Jonathan Morrow of the Impact 360 Institute explains why he believes Gen Z can’t seem to commit to a Christian worldview. He lists two main reasons: the fear of being seen as judgmental and all that it encompasses, and what he calls the 'crisis of knowledge.' ... the belief that we can only glean knowledge from the hard sciences." - Christianity Today
As the mother of four young people ranging in age from 15 to 28, I’ve spent the last couple of decades trying to prepare them for the world they will live in.
Along the way I’ve listened to many a fellow parent bemoan the problems of “these kids today.” Memes of children walking around looking at their smartphones are our signposts of The End of Civilization as We Know It.
However, the parents and elders of every generation echo the lament, “These kids today …” There’s a quote, old enough to be sometimes attributed to Plato, which states, “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”
Read Part 1.
What can Baby Boomer church leaders do to develop growing disciples from the Millennial generation?
1. Motivate and train older people to build growing relationships with younger people in your church.
Godly older people can be a powerful positive influence, if they don’t become isolated, bitter and alone. This is why church leaders must make ministry to senior citizens a top priority, and not just to provide aging generations fellowship with other old people. An effective senior citizens program must be much more than that. Left alone, seniors are likely to feel put out to pasture, as if their days of effectiveness for ministry are long gone. They need to be motivated and trained to spend their retirement years being proactive about building positive relationships with the next generation. Emerging generations need to hear their stories and learn the lessons of living for Christ over the long haul. In fact, I encourage church leaders all over the country to recruit older people to be youth workers. Yes, their days of playing tackle football are long gone, but one never gets too old to build relationships. The generation gap is perhaps best bridged by older people taking the initiative to develop growing, encouraging relationships with young people.