Across All Generations

Across All Generations

Generation Z and Alpha will be stepping up to take over many businesses and corporations soon, to carry their legacies onward. But for that to happen, businesses and corporations must first determine how to connect with the younger generations and become more appealing.

Churches are no exception to this, as the need to connect with the younger generations has become a pressing reality.

Kerry Pickard, a Global Partners missionary serving in Russia, has noticed this concern within her church and is trying to figure out ways to connect the older and younger generations.

Recently, her church held a meeting to check in with members and hear what kind of needs still need to be met. Even in this meeting, one of the needs that arose is for more youth involvement, but then comes the question, how do they effectively reach the younger generations?

As an active member in her church and a member of the church board, Kerry is involved in several activities, such as preaching and helping teach the youth simple Bible principles.

Kerry (far left) with the Kids Festival Team at her church.

“And then this summer I’m doing some stuff with the youth (like) ‘what does the Bible say about temptation?’ ‘What does the Bible say about…’ they pick the topic…. just things that they were interested in and what the Bible says about it,” Kerry said.

This is the first time in years that her church has done events for the youth due to lack of participants.

As the church continues to evaluate this priority, Kerry thinks there could be two obstacles that make it difficult to connect with the youth – one of which is simply age.

“I think one is that a lot of us are older. ‘What do I know about what they need,’” Kerry said. “I think human needs are the same, I mean, they might look a little different, but basically they’re the same. And I think teenagers go through the same issues. … Everyone needs to be accepted. Everyone needs to be loved. Everyone needs to be able to have a purpose, and direction,” Kerry said.

The second obstacle is that the church may not be as appealing to younger generations, due to the years of traditions. Kerry said in general, the church can sometimes get stuck in the same Sunday morning routine, order and rhythm.

“And if that’s not interesting, if that doesn’t connect with them, then they don’t want to come,” she added.

While tradition isn’t always bad, Kerry suggests that it might be a good idea to try something different in order to connect with the next generation.

Of course, it’s not going to be easy.

“(Our church) is already 30 years old, so this is so ingrained that I think it’s very hard to get past that to see, but to reach the next generation, we probably have to do something different, you know?” Kerry said.

Even still, Kerry is hopeful because she knows that God is constantly working; she just hopes her church is a part of that work.

“God’s always at work, so if he has his next generation somewhere, we would just like to be a part of it,” Kerry said.