Monday, August 18, 2008

Breaking the “Boomer Code” – Part 1 of 5

Posted by Leona Bergstrom

When we talk with leaders of older adult ministries in churches we consistently hear a comment something like this: “How are we going to attract the younger people? Boomers just don’t seem to want to be a part of our seniors group.”

Our answer: Most likely you’re not going to bring the Boomers into anything that looks or acts like a “seniors” ministry. It’s going to have to be unique, compelling and maybe even revolutionary!

The Baby Boomers, referring to those adults that were born sometime between 1946 and 1964, is a generation unlike any other. Defined by the historical, political, economic and social events of its youth, this cadre of aging adults may be chronologically qualified for the Seniors Ministry, but its fairly safe to say that they aren’t rushing to join.

Many individuals within this generation are still searching for truth, meaning and a reason for their existence. One need not look far to find books, articles and websites written by Boomers who are struggling with transitions into a new phase of life. It is clear that opportunities for ministry are abundant and significant.

So how do we minister to Boomers? How do we begin to break through the walls of denial, indifference, arrogance, rebellion, and fear that seem to surround this generation? How do we share Christ with a people group that is known for spiritual exploration and tolerance? How do we meet the needs of Boomers who are facing unprecedented changes? How do we break the code?

As a result of working with Boomers in our own church and with leaders of 50’s+ ministries in other churches and denominations across the country, we have begun to identify some code breakers. We have decided to continue this thread for the next 4 Mondays, as we discuss the code breakers!
(Photo by David Reeves, Flickr)

1 comment:

Peggy Forster said...

I have debated the same myself alot. Living in a college town, ( Texas A&M), you encounter alot of the same things you described- mainly intellectualism. I guess I believe prayer is hugely needed, because our God can stand tall against all those attributes that so many Boomers cling to as they live a life without faith. Thanks for broaching this subject. It is a biggy.