When describing themselves in surveys, members of the Homeland Generation – born from ~1995 through ~2015 – most commonly describe themselves as hopeful and happy. They also see themselves as “pleased” and “energized,” which makes them poised to take on the opportunities and challenges that are before us as a nation and a people. This is the last US generation that will be born with a majority of any ethnicity and they are very positive about the growing diversity in their lives. What are the implications for the ministry of the church in these first observations about the newest generation of Americans?
First, they are more likely to embrace a church that is willing to embrace their hope. They are hopeful because they have grown up never knowing a world in which people could not connect with anyone else on the planet for free and almost instantaneously. They are hopeful because they recognize the incredible empowerment that is possible when people work together using the social tools they have grown up with. They are hopeful because they are young. How can your church embrace their hope? The first opportunity is to reflect and honor their hope by listening and publishing their voices.
I recently attended a worship service in which the worship leader, lead guitarist and percussionist were all under 18. This was not “Youth Sunday.” It was a church that routinely offered a platform for young people’s voices to be heard and honored. They led worship at least once a month and from what I saw did a superb job of bringing people of all ages into the presence of the Almighty. When I asked these young people “What advice would you give to churches that want young people to participate?” their answer was to be open to the talents and voices of young people and make a place for them to be heard.
How many platforms can your church create that allows the hope of the Homeland Generation to be heard and published with honor?
Tomorrow, I’ll post an outline of how you can expand the number of options, of platforms in which the Homeland Generation may be engaged in and through your church.