The following is part of series on generations and what I have learned about them.
What generation is your church reaching? The answer to that question is possibly as simple as looking at the color of hair in the congregation. When I came to West Side one of the things the elders told me was they wanted to see less grey hairs in the congregation. Now this can be an easier thing to talk about than to actually execute.
Yesterday I broke down the various generations living in our culture today. If you look at church culture today, churches at various levels of health and life are reaching the generations they are targeting. Each generation has different likes and dislikes. A church steeped in tradition, steeped in doing things the way they have always done tend to be the churches that are dying or are struggling to maintain, and tend to be made up of the silent generation. Churches that have taken some steps forward, but cherish some tradition, tend to be the ones reaching the broader segment of the Baby Boomer generation. The churches that are cutting the edge with new methods are the ones reaching Generation Next and Generation Y.
How does all this affect the church? Knowing what generation a person belongs to, and the characteristics of that generation, will tell you what kind of church they are going to closely relate to. The church I desire, the church my mom desires, and the church my grandmother desires, are all just a little different. Pinpointing the differences in generations will help to define the people you want to reach and the church you want to be. Tomorrow I will uncover a few of the distinct characteristics of each generation, and give differences in the type of church I believe they may desire.