Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The trouble generation

Year 6.
The junior boys.
The senior girls.
Year 12.
University Students.
Young Families.
Baby Boomers.

Due to the imperfect cyclic nature of ministry - with any age of people - things will not always work out as you might envisage.

In youth ministry, there's almost always a gap year. No matter what shape of funnel you use to draw in, nurture and disciple young people, few churches have a perfect attraction, flow and retention.

For whatever reason - there's a falling out between the popular kid and the leaders, your primary source of children has an unusually small year, your church is struck by a scandal which takes a few years to recover, a large year vanishes at one of the drop out points - it's not uncommon to find a mini-generation gap of a year to two.

When this develops, or you step into a church where this is apparent, three problems lurk on the horizon.

As the generation gap entrenches, the likelihood of attracting and retaining those within that age-bracket shrinks.
As the generation gap matures, they leave a diminished example for the younger years.
As the generation gap gets older, they affect your pool of potential leaders.

Of course, this happens beyond youth ministries.

The generation gap hits churches and entire denominations.

And, on a larger scale, the same three problems lurk...

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