Sermon 02 14 2010


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Sermon 02 14 2010

  1. 1. Diversity for the Ages: Generational Diversity <ul><li>As God’s people, we have a mandate to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ to all generations – past, present and future. </li></ul>Each generation offers a unique challenge for sharing the Gospel.
  2. 2. Generations <ul><li>G.I.’s: (1901 to 1924) </li></ul><ul><li>Silents : (1925 to 1945) </li></ul><ul><li>Boomers : (1946 to 1964) </li></ul><ul><li>Generation X : (1965 to 1983) </li></ul><ul><li>Millennials : (1984 to 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Homelanders???: (2003 to ?) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Each Generation Has Its Themes Silents Baby Boomers Generation X “ Busters” Millennials Hard Work Personal Fulfillment Uncertainty “ What’s Next?” Duty Optimism Personal Focus On My Terms Sacrifice Crusading Causes Live for Today Just Show Up Thriftiness Buy Now/ Pay Later Save, Save, Save Earn to Spend Work Fast Work Efficiently Eliminate the Task Do Exactly What’s Asked Source: Center for Generational Studies
  4. 4. Why Learn about Generations? <ul><li>4 - 5 Generations are worshipping together. People are at the heart of what we do. </li></ul><ul><li>The gap is widening. </li></ul><ul><li>Different values, experiences, styles, and attitudes create . . . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Misunderstandings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frustrations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different people, different views on ‘good’ and ‘bad;’ ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ </li></ul>
  5. 5. The G.I. Generation Born between 1901 - 1924
  6. 6. A Civic Personality: <ul><li>Believe in cooperation and public harmony. </li></ul><ul><li>Overcame the Great Depression and won World War II. </li></ul><ul><li>Energetic and orderly builders of community. </li></ul><ul><li>Are viewed as good, constructive, and deserving. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>G.I.’s have much to offer in the areas of skill and wisdom, but not many remain. </li></ul><ul><li>These are the great grandparents of our youth. </li></ul><ul><li>Patriotic, loyal, “waste not, want not,” faith in institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Military influenced top-down approach </li></ul><ul><li>Key Word: Loyal </li></ul>
  8. 8. Silent Generation Born Between 1925 - 1945
  9. 9. Grew up with: Saturday Night Fights, Mickey Mouse, Wheaties, Jukeboxes, “The Shadow,” Flash Gordon, Charlie McCarthy, 8-Track Tapes, Blondie and Dagwood, Babe Ruth, Tarzan, The Lone Ranger
  10. 10. An Accommodating Personality: <ul><li>Don’t like confrontation. </li></ul><ul><li>Seek compromise. </li></ul><ul><li>Trained to be “seen and not heard,” they have learned to listen to others. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Made it their cause to “walk in the other guy’s shoes.” </li></ul><ul><li>Fueled the Civil Rights movement. </li></ul><ul><li>Tried to mold our society to be more tolerant and inclusive. </li></ul><ul><li>Key Word: Accommodating </li></ul>
  12. 12. Boomer Generation Born Between 1946 - 1964
  13. 13. Grew up with: Captain Kangaroo, Fallout Shelters, “Laugh-In,” Peace Sign, Romper Room, Slinkys, Hula Hoops, Bell Bottoms, Ed Sullivan, “Mod Squad,” Tie Dye, TV Dinners, KISS
  14. 14. An Optimistic and Idealistic Personality: <ul><li>Perceive themselves to be an authentic generation, a generation of destiny. </li></ul><ul><li>Exalt individual conscience over duty to community. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Be true to oneself” philosophy. </li></ul><ul><li>Idealistic, COMPETITIVE, question authority </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Continue to “search for truth” even as they grow older. </li></ul><ul><li>Visionary, committed and creative, but tend to have difficulty achieving consensus and mobilizing as a unit. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key Word: Optimistic </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Buster / Generation X Born Between 1965 - 1983
  17. 17. Grew up with: Brady Bunch, Cabbage Patch Kids, Pet Rocks, “The Simpsons,” Nike, Microwaves, MTV, “E.T.”, “Sesame Street,” Game Boy, VCRs, PCs
  18. 18. A Reactive Personality: <ul><li>Know that other generations tend to see them as “bad”. </li></ul><ul><li>Also called “Generation X” or “13ers”. </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics - eclectic, resourceful, self-reliant, distrustful of institutions, highly adaptive to change and technology </li></ul><ul><li>Key Word: Skepticism </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Perhaps the most misunderstood generation of recent history. </li></ul><ul><li>Received the message: “Grow up fast.” </li></ul><ul><li>Have a powerful survival instinct. </li></ul><ul><li>Need a balance between work and life - Freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible and motivated </li></ul><ul><li>Want to build a portable career </li></ul>
  20. 20. Millennial Generation Born After 1983
  21. 21. Grew up with: Barney, Pogs, X Games, Bill Gates, the Internet , Cell Phones and Laptop Computers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, iPods, Jerry Springer, Pokemon, Britney Spears, Beanie Babies, Spice Girls, Skateboarders
  22. 22. Millennials: The Next “Good” Generation: <ul><li>Have lead our nation into a new century and a new millennium. </li></ul><ul><li>If the cycle of generations stays true, this will be a civic-minded generation with a sense of order, cooperation, and community spirit. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Millennial (not Gen Y!) <ul><li>Most racially/ethnically diverse in history </li></ul><ul><li>In comparison with Gen X (1980 vs. 2000) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>White student pop. decreased </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women increased in influence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asian-American % increased </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall school enrollments up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wealthier students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More ambitious </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Career Goals Goal Silents “ Build a Legacy” Baby Boomers “ Build a Stellar Career” Generation X “ Build a Portable Career” Millennials “ Build Parallel Careers”
  25. 25. Attitude toward Career Path Career Path Silents “ Job changing has a stigma” Baby Boomers “ Job changing puts you behind” Generation X “ Job changing is necessary” Millennials “ Train for many jobs”
  26. 26. A Word of Reminder: <ul><li>The generational theory is not the only factor that influences a person. </li></ul><ul><li>Family structure, developmental stage, economic background, cultural differences, and religious faith all work together to shape the lives of each individual. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Generations Impacted by Their History And how it impacts the local church!
  28. 28. G.I. Generation <ul><li>Progress was made on the treatment of diseases , and the life span was increased dramatically. </li></ul><ul><li>Their parents provided Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for them. </li></ul><ul><li>Born in a time of optimism . </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>They survived the Great Depression and won World War II which defined this generation. </li></ul><ul><li>They were successful because they acted as they had been taught as children: decisively , collectively , and with loyalty and allegiance to the common goal . </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>After the war, they built homes, suburbs, malls, hospitals, rockets, and interstate highways. </li></ul><ul><li>They saw most issues in Black & White ; there was no middle ground. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Always loyal to their institutions – they moved into retirement with full benefits from the Social Security system they built. </li></ul>
  32. 32. G.I.’s Impacting the Local Church <ul><li>G.I.’s called themselves “ Senior Adults ”. </li></ul><ul><li>Remains fiercely loyal , and prefers the social activity of groups, but most are gone ! </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Were the most loyal financial givers / tithers in the church, but those left are on a limited income. </li></ul><ul><li>In Bible Study, they prefer traditional classes . </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>Dislike change, breaking traditions, and too much self-analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>First question concerning a church proposal: “ How much will this cost ?” </li></ul><ul><li>The Great Depression still influences their thinking in the area of finances. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Silent Generation <ul><li>Children should be “ seen and not heard .” </li></ul><ul><li>Because their parents were faced with economic depression and world war, they learned early to stay out of the way . </li></ul><ul><li>Learned to read the intentions of adults before being told what to do. </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>Reputation of being mediators . </li></ul><ul><li>Invented “ Rock and Roll ”. </li></ul><ul><li>Life was never “Black & White ”, always various shades of gray. </li></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>Noted for their expertise , many are doctors and lawyers and government officials. </li></ul><ul><li>Valued fairness and inclusion , and fought for Civil Rights and Women’s movements. </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>Married earlier than any prior American generation, but they also divorced in increasing numbers. </li></ul><ul><li>Politically, they have never elected a president from their generation . </li></ul>
  39. 39. Silents Impacting the Local Church <ul><li>Many are leaders in churches today. </li></ul><ul><li>Serve well as committee members . </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged churches to include divorced and broken families in ministries. </li></ul><ul><li>Prefer Bible Study groups that allow discussion with teachers as facilitators. </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>Respond to sermons that explore life’s complexities, avoid extremes, and reflect careful preparation. </li></ul><ul><li>They hesitate to give a hearty “Amen” or applaud. </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to be generous and consistent . </li></ul>
  41. 41. <ul><li>Concerning church proposals, Silents will have many questions : </li></ul><ul><li>“ Did you get all the bids? </li></ul><ul><li>Check all the possibilities? </li></ul><ul><li>Consulted all the experts?” </li></ul>
  42. 42. Boomer Generation <ul><li>Raised at home under the care of their mothers (only 2% ever went to daycare). </li></ul><ul><li>As children, “ idealized view of life ” (Leave it to Beaver) with a lot of material things. </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>As adults, they rejected material values (those that became hippies). </li></ul><ul><li>Also rejected religious traditionalism – some became “Jesus Freaks” & “New Agers”. </li></ul>
  44. 44. <ul><li>Music became the vehicle of expression in boomer youth groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Breaking traditions characterized this generations search for ideals and meaning. </li></ul>
  45. 45. <ul><li>War in Vietnam defined boomers – they asked “ why ?”, values became personal, and no one could be trusted. </li></ul>
  46. 46. <ul><li>Boomers married later than the Silents and delayed having children even longer. </li></ul><ul><li>Anxious to begin careers. </li></ul><ul><li>Both spouses work in most households. </li></ul>
  47. 47. <ul><li>Spent money to pursue the “ look of success ”. </li></ul><ul><li>Family life became a shared experience – birthing process, “stay-at-home dads.” </li></ul>
  48. 48. <ul><li>Personal values – they want to know the benefits of something before they make a commitment. </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment – redefined in terms of something’s value to oneself. </li></ul><ul><li>They commit only to things they personally believe to have great value. </li></ul>
  49. 49. Boomers Impacting the Local Church <ul><li>Have been changing church life in profound ways - becoming more personal and experiential. </li></ul><ul><li>Applause is as common as “Amens” were for G.I.’s. </li></ul>
  50. 50. <ul><li>Pay little attention to denominational labels. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on personal concerns and attend church where their concerns are best met. </li></ul>
  51. 51. <ul><li>Concerned about religious education for their children. </li></ul><ul><li>Concerning church proposals: “What is the benefit or value of this issue for me ? My family ?” </li></ul>
  52. 52. Generation X <ul><li>Do not like to be put into a mold . </li></ul><ul><li>Resent being in the Boomer’s shadow. </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s reality generation . </li></ul>
  53. 53. <ul><li>Grew up as unwanted latch-key kids in a turbulent society. </li></ul><ul><li>During college years – benefits withdrawn and costs skyrocketed . </li></ul>
  54. 54. <ul><li>After college, jobs were scarce. </li></ul><ul><li>Became cynical realists . </li></ul><ul><li>Saw phonies in institutions, heroes, and leaders (Watergate, televangelists, etc.). </li></ul>
  55. 55. <ul><li>Are down to earth . </li></ul><ul><li>Seen crime , drugs , and sex in their schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Lived and died with AIDS , the dangers of street life , and the conflicts of race . </li></ul>
  56. 56. <ul><li>Tend to marry late , but hope to have traditional homes and families. </li></ul><ul><li>Have not been reached in large numbers by the church. </li></ul><ul><li>If they were a country, they would be the 24 th largest country in the world – larger than Canada or South Korea. </li></ul>
  57. 57. Gen X Impact on the Local Church <ul><li>Practical in their faith. </li></ul><ul><li>Helping to start new churches. </li></ul><ul><li>“ True Love Waits ” and mission projects. </li></ul><ul><li>They easily reach alienated people . </li></ul><ul><li>Accept a variety of friends , caring little about their dress or past. </li></ul>
  58. 58. <ul><li>Challenge churches to “get real”. </li></ul><ul><li>Want leaders and teachers who are genuine . </li></ul><ul><li>Concerning proposals: Likely not to be at business meetings to ask questions or vote; but if they were, they would most likely state, “ Who Cares… for me ?” </li></ul>
  59. 59. <ul><li>Do you remember these bumper stickers? </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Baby on Board,&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Have You Hugged Your Child Today?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;It Takes A Village To Raise A Child&quot;? </li></ul>
  60. 60. The children those bumper stickers talked about are now graduating from high school and entering the work force. The Millennials All that attention and good self-esteem, all those new schools and good teachers our culture gave to them seems to have paid off.
  61. 61. <ul><li>Born at time when our country put a real focus on improving the lives of kids and their families. </li></ul><ul><li>Family outings and family night dinners returned. </li></ul><ul><li>Fathers and mothers were older and wiser and more ready to have children. </li></ul><ul><li>Parents as a whole were more mature. </li></ul>
  62. 62. <ul><li>Millennials were busy little kids, too. </li></ul><ul><li>Mom and Dad put them in camps, sports, and gave them lessons in just about everything. </li></ul>
  63. 63. <ul><li>More interracial interaction than any other generation. </li></ul><ul><li>They have seen terror first-hand. </li></ul><ul><li>They witnessed the Oklahoma City bombing. </li></ul><ul><li>They watched on TV the Columbine High School killings of their classmates. </li></ul>
  64. 64. <ul><li>Policemen and firefighters replaced rock and movie stars, sports heroes and rebels as a deeper and more substantial kind of hero. </li></ul><ul><li>As a result the kids became more patriotic than any other generation. </li></ul>On 911 they saw American heroes:
  65. 65. The Millennials even like their parents, and their parents like them.
  66. 66. Just how cool are these kids? <ul><li>Nine in 10 describe themselves as &quot;happy,&quot; &quot;confident,&quot; and &quot;positive.&quot; Teen suicide rates are now falling for the first time in decades. </li></ul><ul><li>They're cooperative team players and like doing community service in groups. </li></ul>
  67. 67. <ul><li>A recent Roper survey reveals millennial teenagers blame &quot; selfishness &quot; more than anything else when asked, &quot;What is the major cause of problems in this country?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>By a huge 10-to-one majority, they believe it's their generation -- and not their parents' -- who will do the most to help the environment over the next 25 years. </li></ul>
  68. 68. <ul><li>We need to brag about our kids. People who put down our young people need to get their facts straight. The Millennials may very well become the best generation our democracy has ever produced. </li></ul>
  69. 69. Key Questions <ul><li>G.I.’s – How will you invest in the future of the younger generations? </li></ul><ul><li>Silents – How will you help each generation bridge to a new future so that the greatest possible legacy is provided? </li></ul>
  70. 70. <ul><li>Boomers – How will you call for spiritual renewal and what commitments will you personally make to achieve such renewal? </li></ul><ul><li>Generation X – How will you make faith real to yourself and to others? </li></ul><ul><li>Millennials – Will you stay faithful to your calling? </li></ul>