On their own terms

Generation Change by williamhartz at flickr.comChurch members want new people to attend the church because they hope to lighten the load in fundraising events, keep dwindling programs alive, and support the diminishing budget. Sometimes it happens that way, but more often, if the members become intentional about ministering to younger generations, they will move away from assimilating the new people into existing customs and begin the process of forming new communities. (Carol Howard Merritt, Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation)

Yes, and that goes for grassroots organizations hoping to attract younger members, too.

The process of becoming intergenerational (or inter-cultural for that matter) is one of mutual transformation. We can’t both say, “we want new people with fresh perspectives and new ideas,” and expect the organization to do the same activities on the same issues in the same ways.

If we are to successfully welcome new generations or new cultures into our communities, our communities themselves will change.

Are we open to that change?


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