Generational Differences 6: Advice to the Young Generation

Rick Mattson Church 2 Comments

Here is my hope and prayer for the 35-and-under crowd as they face generational differences with their elders (see my prior five posts):

1. Stay strong, be yourself. You really are different than your elders in many ways, and different is OK (usually).

A few of the cool college students I work with

2. Be humble now or be humbled later. One day you’ll be passing 35, 45, 50, 60. I know it seems a long way off but that’s what everyone says. It comes faster than you think.

The NEXT generation may have some strong opinions

Remember that the generation after you will do things differently than you — and they’ll think it’s all a big improvement. They’ll be mocking your old ipads and i-anything and Google+ and “contemporary” praise music and wondering why you’re so stuck in the mud.

Knowing the transient nature of your own styles and preferences will help. Nothing is permanent except God’s truth.

3. Cash in on your gains. That is, take advantage of the steps forward you’ve made in inclusiveness, social justice, racial reconciliation, community and your Jesus-based theology.

My generation has much to learn from you in these areas — as do the even younger ones mentioned above.

4.  Seek out older wisdom. I hope you’ll act now because older wisdom may not always be readily available. At some point our lips will grow silent.

It will happen like this: We will release to you all the positions of leadership and influence in our churches — the churches that we and our forbears built from the ground up which stand as symbols of God’s presence in our culture.

Then you’ll need to be intentional about inviting us to teach, pray and give counsel.

(Note to church and family: Someday, to reach me in the months of Jan/Feb, you’ll need to call Florida 🙂

Comments 2

  1. Good word Dad. It's scary to think about all the possible changes. Each generation has tendencies to get carried away with their way of thinking and doing things, but it is very comforting to know that, like you said, “nothing is permanent except God's truth.”

  2. Hey Kel, And sometimes it's hard to know the difference between style and substance. When substantive things change, like theology, that's huge. When style changes — like syncopation rather than quarter notes, not so huge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.