While the next generation grew up and moved toward adulthood, change accelerated in a way the world hasn’t seen before. Kids who learned to read using blocks now instinctively navigate the newest iPhone, expect their tech to talk back, and communicate in ways once only imagined on Saturday morning cartoons. They may’ve been schooled in any variety of ways, and the might not expect to marry or have kids. Relationships, culture, government and faith have all been on a fast track of transformation. It’s not an easy time to figure out who you are and who God wants us to be, is it?
The NY Times reports that 40% of today’s 20 somethings move back home at least once. During their 20s, they typically go through 7 jobs, and 2/3 of them live unmarried with a romantic partner. Those who do get married do so later than ever. Back when I was a kid, the average age for women to marry was 21, but by 2009 the average age hit 26 for women and 28 for men. The definition of adulthood and when we reach it doesn’t look so clear anymore.
Getting the next gen
A lot of adult believers seem to be realizing that if we’re to reach the next generation for Christ and mentor them to be godly leaders to impact our world, we need to do more to understand them. I’ll go a step further and say we need to figure out how to communicate with, mentor, learn from, and work with them. A lot of people write about the next generation, reporting statistics like those I just shared. Still others write from their own observations and opinions. Too many more-grown ups are either wasting their time trying to act like they’re in their twenties, or they’re ignoring the realities of a generation of individuals growing up in a vastly different world than they remember.
Either way, the cost of failing to understand the next generation will be losing the next generation. Already, they’re fading from church pews faster than we can elect a committee to put a meeting in the bulletin to talk about it.
We have to get the next gen.
Hearing from the next gen
This month at Come Have a Peace, we’re going to hear from the next generation. I’ve asked a group of thoughtful, intelligent, Christ-following young women to join me for next gen June. I’m so excited to hear what they’re going to share about faith, relationships, communication, womanhood, family, and so much more.
Will you join us in learning? You’re about to hear a month of golden nuggets in next gen June. Pour yourself an iced coffee and sit down with us on the floor. This just might be the month that makes a difference in their future and in ours.
Thank you to Hannah Feiten of Feiten Photography for the next gen image.