There is a power waiting in the concept of multi-generational, specifically in the church. This theme has popped into multiple conversations, learning experiences, and conferences with opportunities to network with others.
I know that the idea of millennials, young adults, and youth groups can seem intimidating. It seems to be a topic that starts with “how do we solve this problem?” as opposed to “how do we engage with these opportunities?”. Somewhere along the line, the idea has developed that there is no interest in learning, growing, connecting, and building relationships in this generation.
I would argue that this is untrue and rumors or studies about a generation are too quickly stopping the church from engaging – like junior high students, we ourselves say, “Well, I don’t think they would be interested in me, they don’t want me there”.
Google is convenient, yes, and used for a lot of learning as a result. But is Google so popular because we do not know where else to turn?
We are YouTubing cooking classes because there is no present parent or hospitality gifted woman we are aware of.
Porn for 8 year olds is so often the result of curiosity and underdeveloped relationships with safe, Jesus reflecting adults who will have the awkward talk about sex because it’s a matter of God’s creation and glory and should be framed that way as girls and boys are shaped in our hyper-sexual culture.
We are in a fatherless generation that just wants to learn what an oil change looks like in person. So many young men would tinker if someone would consistently invite them – and have patience in the fumbling, disinterest, and Instagramming of the entire experience.
Programs are good – clearly, we have developed Compassion Corp at Breathe Partners. However, I have heard and been a part of conversations in many rooms, with many leaders, seeking to shape their programs….all to get the max effect with the most people. But Jesus didn’t do that. He had the max effect with twelve people, and not all twelve “got” it.
I would argue that Jesus’ model is one that this generation and the next one is hungry for – and open to older generations for. Not for a small group (although those aren’t bad) and not for a program (although those are loved) – but one on one time investment that forces the phone to be put down. Teaching the things that grandma and mom didn’t – because they were not taught healthy relationships themselves or because they were busy running the household singlehandedly. Inviting to watch a game or fix an engine that will be much more relaxing and efficient alone – but purposeful and multiplying with just one young man alongside of you.
We are striving to make these kinds of ideas natural habits as we practice missional community through our Breathe Centers. We believe that developing leaders and making disciples WILL redeem spaces!