Friday, November 14, 2008

Where is the Next Generation?

So I work with young adults.

Here's a summation of an article I just read.

The 20 something generation has to make more money in order to live the way that is deemed 'right' or 'normative'. In general this impacts the Church in two pretty drastic ways. First, the young adults don't have time for church. Many are working two jobs to live at the standard they are coveting. Others work hard all week and come Sunday, feel a sense of entitlement (or exhaustion) to sleep in, so they don't show.

Second, if they are attending church, they are generally not giving 10 percent (tithe) to the church. In fact it is more typical for young adults to put money into parachurch organizations that represent a clear cut cause that is doing something tangibly in the world. But, even when money is given there, it is rarely 10 percent of that person's income. How can they afford such sacrifice? They have a house payment, 2 car payments, insurance for those cars, starbucks stops each morning for 4 bucks a pop, tivo so they can watch all 18 shows that are on at 8 p.m. (is that fulfilling? really?)

So if a whole generation is stuck paying off college debt and not attending church, then what are the ramifications? Well, in one major way it calls us to rethink church. Is this generation going to allow for church's to maintain their current budgets? To do active, relevant ministry, be involved in life changing mission, pay staff, pay for building upkeep, maintenance and expansion...that all costs money. What happens when (especially in a less-than-thriving economy) people hold their money close fisted rather than openhanded (as if it's their money to begin with!)?

I guess we will find out soon enough, but the church will either be proactive and find other avenues of redemptive means in this culture or they will be reactive and try to respond once crisis strikes.

So...what's your take?

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