Monday nights have been revived for me. You’ll find me glazed over watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Heroes. I’m still eagerly waiting for new episodes of Battlestar Galactica (ETA: Jan 2009). NYTimes reviewed the new season of Heroes and gives us some great insight into Gen Y. If you don’t have a clue about Gen Y then here’s a good way to start. It’s important to know the things that shape a generation and their attitudes towards the world. Unfortunately, the church tends to be years behind the times and still trying to minister to generations before. I deeply appreciate James Chuong‘s approach to tell the Gospel in this context. Check out, From Four Laws to Four Circles. As you read and understand Gen Y you’ll see how well the Four Circles works to convey the story of God today.
Insights From Times Review
The current economic crisis confirms Gen Y’s worst fears that their baby boomer parents are leaving them a world convulsed by war, drowning in debt and melting down under global warming.
And Generation Y has more special abilities than any previous one: these are people who came of age taking the Internet, BlackBerries, cash machines, Facebook and iPods for granted. They also take the taking for granted. They are the most coddled, indulged and overprotected generation ever. Swaddled in safety and self-esteem, they have all been assured that they are special. They don’t rebel against their parents or even seek independence; they welcome an electronic umbilical cord that stretches through high school and college and even the post-graduate return to the empty nest.
“Your mother, my father, God knows what else they’ve done. How much longer are we going to have to clean up their mess?” – Matt Parkman, Telepath on Heroes
Every Generation Has Heroes
Each generation thinks less of the next generation. The Boomers were the hippies. Gen X were the slackers. I can’t help but have some of my own criticisms as I have worked with Gen Y over the years. I do get frustrated with many of them but I know it is unfair to make sweeping statements of an entire generation. Generally they are certainly driven individuals. Especially among Asian-Americans, talented, privileged. Demanding? Who doesn’t want work-life balance? They want to be CEOs by their mid twenties but only prepared to work 35 hours a week to get there. Wouldn’t that be nice? Big rewards with little or no effort? The old paradigm used to be work hard and eventually you’ll make it. Now it’s be famous for doing nothing. They want the life of heirs and heiresses. I want to just say, grow up! — Er… or more spiritually say, we need to leave room for God to disrupt our lives. We’re all ordinary people called to be heroes who have all of God’s resources to fulfill that calling. But if we really want to be real heroes, we have to decide if this seemingly impossible mission of God is worth giving everything up for. At some point, we need to confront our hypocrisies – what do we desire more?
The Post Gen Y Generation (11-13 in 2008, born in 1995-1997) is in formation right now. We’ve yet to know what they’re attitudes will be as they are being shaped by a world that offers no easy answers. I think they will be a conservative generation. They know their world has limits.
How will we shape theology and minister to them?
Have we even started that discussion in the church yet? Oh, I’m 10yrs too early.