Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Thinking about my generation...

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Young Pastors at Fall Nebraska Pastor Camp

Last week, as the Fall Pastor Camp Experience was winding down, our Associate Executive Greg Mamula gathered the "Young Pastors" for a picture. Previously, there was a picture of the millennial pastors at a gathering. I had left already, and was not included in that picture. So, I was honored to be included in this one. I had to make clear though, "You know, I am not one of you millenials. I am an old man. I am a Gen Xer."

Indeed, I did do a little survey regarding the ministers in this picture. Most of them graduated high school after 2000. I graduated high school in 1991. I am in a small group with a few of these folks. I am the old man in the group. 

Here is the deal though. There are not a lot of us Gen Xer pastors in my circles. A decade earlier, say born before 1964 or earlier, there are a number of Baby Boomers. Some of them are nearing retirement. For the first say 18 years of my ministry, I was almost always one of the two or three youngest in the room by at least 10 years. Now, in the last 5 years, the younger crowd has arrived in force. 

And so, I have been thinking lately. What happened to my generation. Here are a couple of possibilities:

  • By definition, there are fewer of us
  • My Generation must be less churched and more suspicious of religion even than the Millennials
  • Mainline denominations are resurgent with younger folks, but perhaps more Gen Xers went non-denominational.
What do you think?

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