On this generation

Yesterday i took a short walk with my parents- for the first time in like 8 years i saw kids outside playing baseball… i was pretty convinced kids didn’t play outside anymore- all they do is sit inside play on the computer and watch tv… though, it seems like that is all i do back in the states too…

Back when i was a kid we would play football, basketball or baseball- depending on the season for 3 hours day 5 days a week, and then maybe 3 2 hour sessions on Saturday, plus an extra 2 hours of basketball over at the lincoln center once or twice a week. We were pathetic i know. One summer i remember Jon Delrio going over the baseball field and putting plastic bags over all the bases early in the morning because he heard it was supposed to rain, but when the rain stopped, we were all out there playing all afternoon and evening long.

This continued for me in college- as we all reminisced this last weekend- how did we play 8 hours of basketball a week? i don’t know, but we did- ah the memories…

i don’t know what kids do these days, but i was trying to explain this generation to my dad. i know i work in Asia, but i still have to keep up with what is going on in America- as every year i get new teammates i have to relate to and new students to recruit and sooner or later these Asians will be influenced by it too.

This generation is a product of the information-age, fast-food age, has a consumer-mindset, and wants a cause, but lacks community.

Here’s what i have put together
1. They want things their way, right away.
This age lacks patience and has a high value of rights. If things don’t go the way they want, they demand change. There isn’t much done to get that change- they just want it. It comes from the idea that at a resturant, the customer is always right. And everywhere you go, everything is instant. McDonalds gets you your food in a minutes, pizza delivers your food in 30 minutes or less. Microwaves makes things super fast. And for all those things, you don’t have to lift a finger. The society has become demanding and critical.

2. They’re overloaded with information
Internet has made it so simple to find out information on anything you want. But with all this information, there is no specialty anymore. And no one really remembers anything, you just remember where to find it. There is too much to remember. We theorized this is why there is no cause the young generation fights for. This generation wants change, but there is too many things to fight for. So they choose one. But everyone is choosing something different. This age knows more about what is going on in the world, but they are doing very little to effect it.

3. There is a lot of communication, but little community.
We have cell-phones, email, IM, facebook, online journals- and yet people really don’t know each other. Text messages and facebook wall messages are all the rage- but perhaps because people can’t keep a sustained conversation. On IM people are talking to multiple people at a time. Facebook allows people to stay in touch very easily, but with so many acquaintances, are people developing meaningful friendships?

For all the good – life has become easier, i don’t think it has made better people. Not that we were better people before- but the advances in society has led to a downfall in community. The more information we have now, the less teachable we have become.

This society has trouble trusting or respecting authority.
This society has trouble developing intimate, enduring friendships.
This society is looking to make a difference, but will give up when they don’t see immediate success.
This society has many connections, but not well-connected. There are many causes, but not one that unifies.
This society is very individualistic & independent
This society will sacrifice everything for ease.
This is the fast-food generation.

To reach this generation,
We must be willing to speak truth and rebuke sin.
We must challenge them to endure.
We must rally them around the mission of Christ.
We must give the call to suffering.
We must foster community
We must be patient

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4 thoughts on “On this generation

  1. great post! i’ve been doing the leadership track this summer and one day in class we talked about some of these cultural shifts and the implications these changes have on ministry and what that will require of us as believers.

  2. exceptional post!  here’s what I see when they hit grad or med school – most think they know as much or more than the profesors – there is little respect for age or position – work ethic doesn’t exist.  it is hard to speak of a suffering Savior to a generation with such great spiritual need and such little self-awareness of it because of the abundances of which you speak

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