Youth Specialties just dropped a post over on their blog about Passion 2010. The heart of the post was that college students in any number have incredible potential to change the world. This is so true. It’s the whole reason movements like Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity, and Navigators exist. I love that conferences like Passion are springing up and highlighting the potential of the emerging generation.
I think that there is a larger conversation that needs to take place and that is a conversation about power. In the church (and in every other institution) there are multiple generations existing together under one tent. The question is how will the generations that are older begin the process of taking on new roles? The generation that populates the leadership of most churches is the generation of the Jesus Movement. It saw incredible mobilization toward causes that was bigger than itself. It was a generation of radicals that forcibly took power in politics and church. It is the generation that created the “mega-church”. It figured out how to reach a de-churched population with skill and wisdom. The emerging generations need to be grateful for what has been done.
But, now is the time for the established leaders of the church (50s+) to realize that they must enter into a new leadership role. The time is now for them unlock the potential of the emerging generations. They need to actively choose to not become like their parents/grandparents. The “Great Generation” would not yield power and become coaches so the “Boomer” struck out on their own and created it’s own institution. Now, will they choose to embrace the leadership of the emerging generations? Will they listen? Will they hear what the culture is like NOW? Will they determine to bring emerging leaders up and hand over precious power and set aside their preferences to reach the next generation?
Youth Specialties and Passion are right. There is incredible potential in the emerging generations. But will it be coached and brought to maturity or will it be required to makes it own course and not come to maturity until they reach their 50s?