The Silent Generation. Baby Boomers. Generation X. Millennials. Generation Z. Each name represents a group of people born during a specific time frame. And each group has become known by certain characteristic traits. But none have been tagged or labeled more openly than perhaps the most recent two groups as social media is used to spread opinions at whim.
Little over a year ago, I saw a picture that was being shared on social media. It depicted a pickup truck loaded with bales of hay sitting in the middle of a beautiful open field. The tag line boasted how older generations knew what REAL work was. And the sad insight to me was that a pastor had shared the picture and was agreeing with the comparison of the hard work of farm life to the ‘lazy youth’ of today who know more about technology than doing chores. And the post most likely was shared from his own technical device.
As I sat looking at the post, so many thoughts went rushing through my mind. First, who’s duty is it to teach the next generation about chores and responsibilities? We cannot blame one generation for not achieving what the previous generation never taught or set as a goal.
Second, if we want to have younger generations visiting and joining our churches, then we need to make sure they feel welcomed and not judged. Christ told us that others will know us by our love. If a visiting young adult walks into your church, enjoys the service, but wants to know more about the vision or the pastor, he probably will check out social media. If he sees a post that is talking down ‘this generation of youth’, he may feel all the judgement that he already experiences in the world. Chances are, he will not visit your church again.
Third, I RAISED MILLENNIALS! When I read posts about millennials, I think of my own now grown kids. Looking at the pastor’s post that day, I wanted to add a comment that he just lumped my kids into that group. And my kids were following a weekly chore list at an early age. Each of them have visited third world countries spreading the gospel. I taught them to be real and authentic. In teaching them to be authentic, they came to realize how to recognize duplicity. Yes, they have a completely different mindset in many areas of life than I do even though they have held fast to the things we taught them. Why? Because their millennial world is vastly different than the world my generation remembers.
This generation needs us to be real. They need us to show them the love of Jesus. When the widow gave just a penny in the temple’s offering bucket, the leaders looked down on her. But Christ did not. Christ saw the reason behind the small amount. He realized she gave all she had. He understood what formed her thinking. What would it look like if we chose to see others through Christ’s perspective? What if our first response to someone’s actions was not judgmental but with the question of, “I wonder what happened to them in life to cause this?” Or how about asking our Father, “Is there a way I can help them discover more of their life in You?”
Amos 3:7 “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.”
I want to be known for seeking God’s perspective first before I ever judge in my heart or speak judgement from my lips. If God chooses to reveal secrets to His prophets, won’t He also reveal hurting hearts to those who want to help them heal? After all, He knows all and sees all. Let’s ask Him today for His vision!
1 Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.”
On more than one occasion, God has given my husband flash visions to reveal to him an incident that happened in someone’s life. Often it has been for strangers, such as a waiter or waitress serving at our table. The vision gave my husband an open door to share the love of Christ to a hurting soul.
Ask Him today to reveal what is hidden and to give you His vision. Let’s reach the world around us!