I have been considering the huge challenges we face as ministers and as local church leaders in reaching out to the multiple generations connecting to and needing to connect to the church. Some final thoughts for reaching the younger Y Generation might be helpful to consider. By 2025, 76 million Baby Boomers will be in retirement according to the U.S. Department of Labor and there will be only 46 million younger workers waiting to take their place. The X-er Generation will not be big enough to handle the need and the Y Generation is the fastest and biggest segment of the workforce. Reach out to them now. Embrace them into your ministry. Regardless of the generation we live in, we must extend grace to one another. The younger generations need the older; the older generations need the younger. For those in the younger generations, we must recognize our need to honor and value those who have come before us. For those in the elder generations, please recognize that the same Holy Spirit in you is alive in this emerging Y Generation, and that God has used a cadre of young men and women (Jesus and his disciples) in the past to transform the world. Give us grace too; we need all the help and guidance we can get. Generational isolation simply will not allow the church to thrive. Yes, perhaps it is less awkward to worship with people "like me." Yet we see Jesus inviting both the old and young into His embrace, all generations crowding around to worship Him as King. Could the church begin to foster that kind of kingdom-culture, a culture where generational demographics are not relational barriers? May the church, both young and old, lead the way into tomorrow together? I pray that God will bless these upcoming generations. The future rest on their shoulders and we must do everything within our power to help them be prepared to lead the church of tomorrow by embracing, empowering and equipping them today.
I began with this passage and I decided to give a few final thoughts with this passage in closing. First Peter 2:9 reminds us:
“We (you) are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”
Because we are a chosen people it emphasizes God’s loving resourcefulness in bringing all people to himself and allowing us to be a part of His church. We are a royal priesthood which reminds us as believers that as priests we serve royalty. We have not landed a maid-service position. We are part of God’s “forever kingdom.” Peter says we are a holy nation emphasizing that God has set apart the church for His use and that as individual believers have a valuable contribution to make to His church.
Let’s think about that fact and begin doing something about it! If you would like to have conversations related to this blog post, why not drop me a line so we can begin your journey and conversation.
You can connect with Dr. Tom Cheyney and the RENOVATE Church Revitalization Virtual Coaching Network additionally via Facebook at RENOVATE Conference. Tom is the co-author of Spin-Off Churches (B&H Publishers), a conference speaker and a frequent writer on church planting, new church health, and church revitalization. Be looking for The Biblical Foundations for Church Revitalization by Tom Cheyney and Terry Rials later this year. If you or your church would like more information you may contact him at Tom@renovateconference.org, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005), 1 Peter 2:9–10.