What’s wrong with today’s younger generations? I hear that question all the time. Especially from my fellow Baby Boomers. The quick answer? Nothing.
Nothing is wrong with the current and upcoming generations that hasn’t been wrong with every previous generation. With one possible exception. They don’t have the elders and mentors that almost every previous generation before them has had. And why is that? Because (I hate to say it) my generation of Boomers is not discipling the next generation as well as previous generations did for us.
Calling all Boomers – it’s time to become elders!
If you, like me, are a Christian and a Boomer (born between 1946 and 1964) you need to know that our primary mission at this stage of our lives is to become the elders and equippers that every generation of the church always needs. Instead, too many of us stand back, cross our arms and complain that Millennials are entitled, they’re lazy, they’re loud, they’re disrespectful etc. etc.
But that is no truer of this generation than of our generation. In fact, I’m convinced that the biggest ‘sin’ millennials have committed in the eyes of many of my Boomer colleagues is not wanting to do Church exactly the way we did it. But no generation should do Church exactly the way anyone else did it. Because they’re not like anyone else.
Each generation needs to honour God, worship Jesus, disciple believers, reach their community and teach the unchangeable truths of God’s Word in the way God leads them to do it. Not in the way their parents or grandparents are most comfortable with. Like every generation that preceded them, today’s young believers need the wisdom, kindness and counsel of previous generations to become the mature disciples they want to be.
And, despite all the protestations to the contrary, this new generation is as open, maybe even more open to being mentored by their elders than Boomers ever were. We’re the ones who came up with the phrase “don’t trust anyone over 30 ..” remember? If we will step up, they will listen. But we can’t become the elders the Church needs by complaining, demanding or whining about them.
The choice has always been ours: we can whine about the new generation or we can worship with them – but we can’t do both.