The term generational gap has been redefined. We have more generations in our church now than we did ten years ago. Thus, we have to ask, “How will the structure, Living Church Ministries, and leadership be able to meet the needs of all those generations?”
Perhaps a personal illustration will help. When I was a pastor in 1985, a woman would come to our church, seek out the nursery, and leave her baby there. That was the norm. Now in a more highly sensitized culture in which people are aware of all the abuse that has taken place, parents don’t want to walk into church and leave their babies in the hands of people they don’t know.
Furthermore, church leaders today don’t allow anyone to work in the nursery without a background check. Other new trends in nursery care show a sensitivity to parents. For instance, when parents drop off their children, they take with them a low-frequency beeper. If the nursery workers need the parent, they use the beeper–which doesn’t actually beep but vibrates. Nursery workers today perform on a highly professional level. Many even wear white smocks over their clothes to project an image of professionalism. They don’t just hand children back to their parents, but during the last half of the worship service, they spend much of their time cleaning up, changing diapers, and doing everything necessary to send children home clean, dry, and fed.
This is an excellent example of sensitivity to generations, for the level of care today’s parents expect is higher than in any previous generation.
Futuring leaders continue to grow. They become aware of their need to change, they adapt by expecting the unexpected, and they become sensitive to the issues they face–and some of those are situations they’ve never wrestled with before. They then have to figure out how to express their new understandings.