Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Understanding the Generational Gap

How do different generations define your church? I have read many books that mention generations and how they interact in the world. Each book defines generations in their own way to meet their own purposes. Today I was reading a blog that was talking about how the church that the writer attended in the early 90’s was geared for the Baby Boomer Generation (those who are who are 45 to 63 years old). Because my mind was confused and intrigued by the different generations I decided to do some research.
After my two hours of quick internet research I feel I have a better understanding of the many generations that exist in our country today. I think defining and understanding these generational gaps is imperative to church growth. Where in society do we try to be all things to all generations? The Church! Apple does not market the iPhone to the Silent Generation (those who are 66 to 86 years old). For the most part Dentucreme (a denture cleaning paste) is not marketed to Generation Y (those who are 17 to 31 years old). There are many products out there for people at specific periods of life. Likewise, there are products out there that for specific generations. But the church is for all people (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
Because of the differences in generations the church has run into many different problems, often based on preferences. The one that comes quickly to mind is worship. In the church we have the task of leading people in worship that are 10 years old and at the same time 80 years old. That is a very tall and challenging task. That is why I believe understanding the generational gap is very important. Over the next several days I plan to lay out some things I have learned about the different generations and how their particular characteristics affect the way we do church.
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