Friday, March 06, 2009

The Church of Tomorrow?

When I hear people refer to this generation as "the church of tomorrow," my heart breaks. Not because there is no hope for this generation, but quite the opposite. Seeing this generation as the upcoming generation means that we are tragically clinging to the past.

Dan Kimball is correct in the assertion that those in this generation are the primary shapers and influencers in our culture. He writes in They Like Jesus But Not The Church...

"Musicians writing the songs that influence people at a national and global level are primarily in their twenties. The creativity and innovation of people in their twenties and thirties are used in the marketplace and in the music world, but are they given a place to help shape the church?"

Truth be told, this generation is "the church of today," not tomorrow! Unfortunately, the hearts and minds of many in this generation are being squelched because they don't conform to traditional structures of organized religion. The thought patterns and life experience of this generation are like no other generation in history.

From Craig Groeschel and a recent series over at the Swerve blog, let's highlight some important observations about this generation:

Our world is smaller and our perspective is broader.
Because of technology, The lines between global and local has been blurred.

We have a wider definition of "friends."
Today a friend can be someone you may not have ever met before they clicked on your Facebook page and asked to be your friend.

We're more experiential.
Instead of accumulating possessions like previous generations, our generation is into accumulating experiences.

We have been under-challenged.
Many in this generation have been given much, yet we’ve been challenged little. We have more potential than most realize.

Our world is gray.
Many of us in this generation have been told that truth is relative, but deep down we believe and are searching for absolute truths.

We’re searching for a cause.
This generation is looking for something, often anything, worthwhile to live for. When we find a cause, we'll go to extreme measures to make a difference.

We are conversational.
But before we listen to you, we want to know if you’re listening to us. This generation builds trust slowly. If you’ll get to know us, we will listen to you.

We want to be loved.
This generation craves intimacy in relationships. We want to know and be known. We are hungry for acceptance and affirmation and respond well to sincere Christian love.

If you’re quick to judge, don’t bother trying to connect.
Unfortunately, too many Christians are turned off or intimidated by the young, tech savvy, tattooed, and pierced young adults.

This generation doesn’t want to hear about what you believe.
We want to see your beliefs in actions. As strange as it may seem, we are drawn to faith that feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, heals the sick, and loves the outcasts—all in the name of Christ, the King. If you’re daring enough to live like Jesus, we might join you. And then one day, we might believe what you believe.

Care to add to this list? Click on the word "comments" below ...