by Aaron Earls, LifeWay, 2/18/19.
by Rachael Thompson, Mashable, 4/1/19, April Fools Day.
On April 1, 2019, also known as April Fools’ Day, Hasbro announced the termination of our spud-like pal’s contract to make way for his millennial replacement, Mr Avo Head.
“It’s no guaccident that the avocado was chosen to replace the carby potato,” reads Hasbro’s statement. “Hasbro has announced that Mr Potato Head will no longer be a star carb character and will be replaced with his soon to be Insta-famous rival, Mr Avo Head.”
by Nicolas Cole, Inc. Magazine, 1/21/18.
…This one sentence summarizes the entire Millennial generation:
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: 2 things to remember about Gen. Z:
- Congregational good deeds are making non-churchgoers view churches in a more positive light.
- But non-churchgoers still view Christians as not fun people to hang around.
Take into consideration these perspectives of Gen. Z when ministering among and to them.
“Post-millennial generation ‘more tolerant’ of Christianity” by Harriet Sherwood, The UK Guardian Newspaper, 7/12/18.
… Just over half of members of Generation Z (18-24-year-olds) responding to the ComRes survey said they had a positive experience of Christians and Christianity, although two-thirds said they never went to church.
Across all age groups, only 7% said Christians were more fun than atheists. Among 18-24-year-olds, 38% indicated they would have more fun socialising with an atheist than a Christian, compared with 11% who said Christians were more fun to socialise with. Most respondents expressed no view on the subject.
Over recent decades, surveys have established a trend indicating that many people in younger generations have rejected organised religion and the institutions of faith in favour of an amorphous spiritualism. In 2016, the authoritative British Social Attitudes survey found that 71% of 18-34-years-olds said they had no religion, up from 62% the previous year.
Half of the Generation Z respondents in the ComRes survey said they disagreed with the statement that Christians were a negative force in society, with 12% agreeing. In the next age group, 25-34-year-olds, 14% agreed with the statement. The average across all age groups agreeing that Christians were a negative force was 10%, compared with 51% disagreeing.
Two-thirds of 18-24-year-olds said they never went to church; attendance by the remaining third ranged from once or twice a year (20%) to several times a week (2%).
…The ComRes survey was carried out to mark the publication of a book, Faitheism, by Krish Kandiah, a Christian academic and founder of the adoption and fostering agency, Home for Good. ComRes questioned just over 4,000 people in March this year.
By Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 3/28/18
A recent survey sought to find out the spiritual temperature of British members of Generation Z. Researchers were so shocked by the results they delayed releasing the results until they could analyze it more.
More than 1 in 5 British people (21 percent) between the ages of 11 and 18 describe themselves as active followers of Jesus, with 13 percent saying they are practicing Christians who attend church.
The perception had been that Christianity was much lower among British teens. “There was disbelief among the team [of researchers] because it was so high,” Jimmy Dale, the Church of England’s national youth evangelism officer, told the Telegraph.
The survey, commissioned by Hope Revolution Partnership, a Christian youth organization, also asked young people why they became Christians.
While almost half (45 percent) say their growing up in a Christian family was one of the most important reasons they became a Christian themselves, many listed some unexpected reasons for their faith.
Researchers asked: “When you think about the reasons you became a Christian which two or three of the following, if any, were most important for you?”
Here’s how the members of Generation Z responded:
45% growing up in a Christian family
17% going to a religious school
15% Sunday School
15% reading the Bible
13% visiting a church building
13% going to a church wedding, funeral, christening, baptism, confirmation
12% going to a regular church service
11% a youth group
10% a spiritual experience
Even fewer spoke about other church youth activities or specific courses on Christianity popular in England like Alpha or Christianity Explored.
Read more at … https://factsandtrends.net/2018/03/27/the-surprising-reasons-generation-z-become-christians/
by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 12/7/17.
Recently a student commented, “Last week (national name) was advocating that we put a ‘Sun Set Clause’ in all our churches. He said less than 1% of churches in the country are older than 100 years old. There are no churches that trace their heritage as a congregation to the first century church. He says that churches have a life cycle and instead of fighting it we should work with it. He said the most fruit years of most churches ministry is in the first 30 years. He is advocating that all decisions made in the church be based on the idea that we have 30 years of ministry left. He believes that if we did this we would place more emphasis on people and less on buildings. Instead of building monuments that will last for ever we would make disciples and release them to be missionaries. I would be interested in your prospective on this?”
Thanks for the question. My view on this comes out of interviews I have conducted over the past 25+ years with hundreds of older members of churches in my consulting practice. I discovered that as people age they need the church more, rather than less. However as they age they have less ability to volunteer as well as less ability to support the church. Therefore, Like Social Security I believe we should provide a spiritual security in our congregations. So rather than closing a congregation down you can revitalize a congregation into a new lifecycle.
I discovered that as people age they need the church more, rather than less. However as they age they have less ability to volunteer as well as less ability to support the church.
Also as older congregants age I believe they have more insecurity in their lives. They have financial insecurity as they live on a fixed income. And they have relational insecurity as their friends move away and/or die. In addition they have health insecurity. Therefore it is been my experience that they look to the church to provide needed security and a worship culture they can relate to. Without an influx of younger generations the church becomes organizationally insecure it only adds to their insecurity.
Here is where I’ve written more about this and answered more questions: https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2017/02/19/multiplication-instead-of-planting-an-independent-new-church-what-about-planting-a-new-venue-instead-pros-cons-considered/
Finally, as I said above I came to this viewpoint after interviewing hundreds of aging members. Over and over again these dear hard-working saints worry that their church will not survive. Usually they’ve seen exit behavior occur as the result of change implemented too quickly or without consensus (see Bruno Dyke and Frederick A. Starke, “The Formation of Breakaway Organizations: Observations and a Process Model,” Administrative Science Quarterly 44 [Ithaca, NY: Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, 1999], 792-822.).
Thus, older congregants fear (rightly so) being left behind and marginalized. And many of these dear saints ran the church and supported it through the years as young families.
But I want to agree with (national name) that we put too much emphasis on facilities. In fact, I wrote a chapter in the book Growth by accident, death by planning: How not to kill a growing congregation (Abingdon Press, 2004) that “Missteps with facilities” was one of the quickest ways to kill a growing congregation. You can find more info on that here: https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/facilities-the-7-donts-7-dos-of-building-growthbyaccidentbook/
I believe people like (national name) are not as familiar with the needs of aging congregants because they don’t consult aging churches. Most of them have been involved in church plants. In fact that’s how I started out: overseeing a network of church plants and then planting a church myself. And in hindsight I found I had a jaded view. I tended to not understand the needs of aging congregants and rather dismissed them.
And in hindsight I found I had a jaded view. I tended to not understand the needs of aging congregants and rather dismissed them.
After having consulted for so many years and conducted numerous focus groups with aging congregants I have found them to be dear, committed saints who now suffer insecurity in their lives” an insecurity the next-generation can address … if the next gen doesn’t abandon and instead respects the senior saints’ culture.
The result has been that some churches, like Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis has reached out to senior centers. They just don’t go into senior centers and put on a Sunday service. But they actually organize the seniors to lead the services. It gives aging Christians an opportunity to still be involved in worship and leadership. (As a preacher, worship leader and pastor I hope one day that opportunity will be afforded me 🙂
(From a presentation at the annual meeting of The Great Commission Research Network at Asbury Theological Seminary, Oct. 19, 2017).
Generations can be thought with key words (in italics below)
The senior generation is informing. They are (attempting) to pass their knowledge along to further generations.
The mature generation is prevailing. This means they are in charge and their behaviors, ideas and products are prevailing in most areas of the culture.
The adult generation is promoting. They are promoting themselves and their products in order to move up (i.e. be promoted) in influence.
The young generation is learning. They are watching and accessing knowledge modalities (YouTube, Internet, etc.) to learn more (but may not actually embrace this knowledge).
Speaking hashtags: #CGRN