Five Shifts the Next Generation brings to your Church

How a new generation is going to change your church?  Here are a few idea:

1. Now Generation

“Everything now is the opening weekend,” says San Francisco film programmer Gary Meyers. “And many people, if they want to see a movie, want to see it now. Friday can pull more than Saturday because so many people want to be there the first night, or a movie opens Wednesday to pad the weekend take. If it doesn't seize the weekend, it can be dead by Monday.” (source: Box-office count counted the most in a flat season)

Positive: This generation will work hard to make things happen.

Negative: If your church doesn't recognize this, the new generation will start their own church or find a place that does.  Not as willing to 'work within the existing, traditional church'. 

2. Cooperation is a value – Expect to be valued regardless of outcome.

"In these groups, individual achievement was not praised as high as cooperative participation. Trophies were given not just to the winners but to everyone with the words ‘Participation Award’"- The New Individualism and Community

Positive: High level of community and involvement.

Negative: Community can trump the Bible.  "We are a group that doesn’t have the answers but want to journey together." see (Tension in the Emerging Church )

3. Resist individual or hierarchical authority 

"Meet any of the millennials now embarking on their careers, and this picture comes to life. Impatience with anything that doesn't lead to learning and advancement? "Nothing infuriates us more than busywork," says 24-year-old Katie Day, an assistant editor at Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Group USA. Fearlessness? "I don't have time to be intimidated," says Anna Stassen, a 26-year-old copywriter at the advertising agency Fallon Worldwide who treats her bosses like "the guys." "It's not that I'm disrespectful; it's just a waste of energy to be fearful." source (Scenes from the Culture Clash)

Positive: Outside the box thinking, community buy-in on decisions

Negative: God can be reduced. "God is a being that values above all else freedom and individuality. He has been misrepresented by the Christian community. God respects our choices." source (Emergent Conference Interview 1 see also, 2 , 3 , 4/5 , 6 )  Even the Bible is under this questioning.  "Are the New Testament words “true?” Is this the right question to ask, or is it loaded and misleading? It might be more accurate to say that the Scripture is a light to our path, and that it is given to us by God"  source (Tension in the Emerging Church )

4. Change is Constant

"Managers and their companies will have to deal with the 76 million children of baby boomers, born between 1978 and 2000, who have started pouring into offices across the land. Four generations are being asked to coexist at once: traditionalists (born before 1945), boomers (born 1946-1964), generation X (1965-1977), and millennials (alternately known as gen-Y, echo boomers, Net gen, and even "generation why," because they never stop questioning the status quo). source (Scenes from the Culture Clash)

Positive: Flexibility in methods, encourages creativity, contextualization leaps

Negative: Potential struggle accepting that God doesn't change, and neither does His Word. 

5. Value Personalization – Life is customizable to them

"Millennials aren't interested in the financial success that drove the boomers or the independence that has marked the gen-Xers, but in careers that are personalized" source (Scenes from the Culture Clash)

Positive: Equip them to go after their ministry dreams.

Negative: If you don't connect them to their perceived needs, they may leave.