Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Generation Y and the Gospel

Why is every church trying to figure out the magic formula of getting and keeping young people in worship? The church's that claim to have it right actually have a small percentage of their church attendance in the Generation Y (19-29) and even they are not committed to the whole ministry. Why is this such a problem.

This article from the Milwaukee Journal, March 2, 2010, gives us a taste of why.

"She grew up in a house on a cul-de-sac in Chicago's western suburbs. It was her parents' dream, the American dream.

So, when she struck out on her own in Milwaukee, Clarissa Mankus climbed on the first rung of home ownership and bought a condo in the Third Ward. She liked the space and briefly enjoyed pride of ownership.

But she learned quickly that her parents' dream was not really her dream. She wanted to be independent, mobile and able to pack up and go at any moment. And she also wanted to pay her tuition bills for graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

She sold the condo after a few months and now doubles up with a roommate in Grafton.

"The thought of having a mortgage to worry about doesn't seem appealing to me," says Mankus, 26. "A lot of people in my age group feel the same way. We're anti-commitment."

Ring true? Younger people today are seeing the deep debt that their parents went through to have the perfect house, the deep debt that they have because their parents kept telling them they had to go to school, the numerous divorces their parents and neighbors endured and seeing everything they have said, "Enough with commitment."

Generation Y is anti-commitment, anti-marriage, anti-institution, and living for the moment. Yet, this generation far exceeds their parents in looking to change the world through social action, joining together in small groups to do big things, and helping America continue to be great.

So what is the church to do? A well thought-out plan of living among Generation Y, investing in a Gen. Y pastor, small groups, and a more contemporary music service? That might work for awhile, but this generation sees right through people being fake. What will work is this...Presenting the Gospel, administering the Sacraments, and caring for our neighbor. Sound familiar?

The church will be presented with many challenges due to this next generation, but the Holy Spirit will also do many amazing things through His means and despite us getting in the way.

Lord have mercy

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