So often I have heard people in my generation and the generation above me lament over the work ethic and overall disposition of Millennials. Much has been written or discussed how to deal with, how to lead and how to learn from Millennials. Many of the characterizations and mischaracterizations are stereotypical at best. What hasn’t been talked about much is how we created them and how we have to change how we parent and lead the next generation, or we will only perpetuate the problem.
Before I talk about how to correct the problems that are evident in many Millennials let me say a couple of things. 1. This is not true of every Millennial 2. Millennials have many good traits and abilities that we can no doubt learn from, but in this post, I want to tackle how we parent differently and lead differently in light of the deficiencies that is evident in so many Millennials.
The starting place is definitely in well-intentioned parents and leaders. Every parent who remotely cares for their kids wants them to have a better life than they had. They want them to have more experience more and do more than they did. If you are a leader and parent and you don’t want what’s best for your kids or employees you need to examine yourself and ask why isn’t that something you desire because you should especially if you are a Chrisitan.
Where our good intentions went wrong.
When I was a kids pastor at the ripe age of 21 I did then what I find unthinkable now. I wouldn’t sing Christmas songs in kids church and never would sing hymns. As I think back I can’t even remember why I felt that way. I think I felt that kids wanted to have fun and Hymns were above their pay grade. I think I thought Christmas Carols were things you heard in stores not songs of praise sung in church. What changed my perspective was being in the same church for 20 years. Seeing the kids grow up that I had taught in preschool I realized that I had made a couple of mistakes.
One mistake was thinking that fun mattered more than substance. If I made it crazy enough they would come back. I’m all for fun but not at the price of substance. The other mistake I made is I thought I was helping kids with the faith that they need today rather than preparing them for the faith they are going to need. As kids pastors, we have to give them a faith for today but we also have to prepare them for the faith they are going to need.
We must give our kids a faith that is big enough they can grow into. Kids also need to be connected to the history of our faith. The need to know that God loves them, yes, but many people have lived a life of uncompromising faith they can to by God’s grace.
A new church year is upon us and just like the new supplies and tools kids need for school, we often need to sharpen our tools and/or add new resources to our ministries to ensure we are Gospel-centered. so get that new year started, finalize all the details about promotion, and secure your teams. then, sit back and join us for a chance to talk Gospel @ Center in Kids Ministry.
Sam, Jenny, and Danielle will be sharing some of the most important steps we have taken to help lead Gospel-centered ministries, but we also want to answer some of your questions about Gospel-centered kids ministry. the links are provided below and it is all free. gather your team, share this information with your ministry friends, and let’s focus on what matter most in ministry as we begin this new church year.
Being a Children’s Ministry leader takes a lot of energy, and it’s also easy to become discouraged or tired. We’ve created a world-class event that is uniquely designed for you, so that you can thrive in the calling that God has put in your life.
In the fall of 1997, Pastor Mike Servello Jr. and the youth of Redeemer Church founded the Generation Conference. Within several years, the Generation Conference created a youth movement in the Northeast uniting churches, pastors and students. The vision was simple and remains the same to this day – to see students encounter and be transformed by Jesus Christ.
This simple vision has done things that we could never have expected. Thousands of students have been saved, many powerful conferences and ministries have been birthed, and the youth culture of the northeast and beyond has been shaped.
Over the past 21 years the Generation Conference has changed in look, location and even name, but our core vision will never change. We exist to see God’s kingdom established in this world. The past 21 years have been a blessing and we pray that God sees fit for 21 more.