I just got done reading a book by Thom and JessRainer called "The Millenials: Connecting with America's Largest Generation". It was way too rosy colored about this generation of 20-somethings. I am in my mid-30's and even though I'm considered part of Generation X, I'm not too far off since I grew up in the 80's and 90's. Fortunately, my parents did not have too much of the Boomer's ethics and values. They were more old fashioned and carried with them more of the Greatest Generation of WWII values and they taught them to my sister and me. As I look at my generation, it is really hard to be patient with them. This book is way too positive about my youngster generation probably based on the kinds of questions that they used to interview them. You'll have to read it for yourself to see what I mean.
Anyway, as I look at the kids on Wall Street who have started the "Occupy" movement, it reminded me of many church members who have "occupied" old traditional churches for many years. What do they have in common? They both have a great need of a reality check. That's right. Reality is not their friend. They are delusional.
Millennials and Occupiers:
The current discontent being demonstrated/defecated in the streets of New York and elsewhere is a result of 20-somethings who think that the world owes them all the comforts that their mommies and daddies made sure that they were given as children. This is a generation of kids who were coddled, re-affirmed, praised and rewarded for just being average. They grew up in schools where red-ink was banned when they got an F on their tests. They were the kids who all won the little league games and all went home with a trophy because nobody kept score. These are the kids who grew up playing video games all day while their parents slaved away at work. This isn't their fault. Their parents, the Baby Boomer generation, did this to them because they were mostly divorced, guilt-ridden, ex-hippies who taught their children that they were special, exceptional and deserving in order to soothe their own consciences for their failures as parents! In reality it made them extra-sensitive and easily bruised. These kids grew up and now they can't find a job because they voted in a loser President who has squandered the country's future. So, instead of being like their grandfathers and great grandfathers of the WWII generation when they got hit with the Great Depression, this group goes to Wall Street, craps all over the streets and demands that the successful give them their money. It's kinda the way they demanded their way with their parents when they were kids. This generation needs a kick in the butt and a reality check that reality is going to give them. They have a choice: they can embrace reality or keep fighting it and end up as the greatest generation of losers.
Reality is, most churches in America are dying. They are not growing, they are not reaching their communities, they are not planting new churches and they are not sending new missionaries like they used to. However, if you talk to the average member, they think everything is fine and when you try to make changes that will revitalize a church, they whine, cry, complain and protest at business meetings about how they've never done "such and such" before. This past generation of Christians in America are the consumer church generation. They were taught by their pastors that the church was there to serve them. The buildings are designed for members' comforts and conveniences. They were given their preferences, whether it is the music they like, the color of the carpet or whatever. They were given a variety of choices of other churches that they could defect to if their current church didn't give them their way. Reality is not the friend of those who demand to have their way. It may not be possible in the world of reality. There may be restrictions, there may be changes that need to make or the church will die. So they have two choices - accept changes that need to be made or let their church buildings continue to die and in the end, they will drive by their old church that they loved to death and find out that they are now mosques or high density apartments.
~ Originally posted at Reforming Baptist