GYI: Thinking it through
Gen-Y or GY, those of us born between about 1980 and 2000, like many generations before, are unique and different. But GY represents a paradigm-breaking shift that very few born of earlier generations appreciate. Firstly, GY have been set-up to fail! Secondly, GY are ‘digital natives’! “Fail”, because the Boomers, and Gen-X have led GY to expect to continue their trajectory of prosperity and life-style success, but it’s now clear to GY that this will not happen. Even more difficult, GY see their inheritance being spent by parents, squandered by a resource hungry world, and a planet on the verge of environmental break-down. “Digital natives”, because their relationship with peers is significantly shaped by messages of 140 characters or less, and because their instantaneous source of all knowledge is cyberspace.
It’s no surprise that GY don’t look to earlier generations for wisdom and leadership, the generation whose decisions set the world up this way. Why follow their parents example and close-off options for new experience on the assumption that commitment to hard-work is key to success and happiness? Jobs are unreliable, skills have a short shelf-life, marriages are an optional burden that more often than not end in heart-ache. Commitment doesn’t payoff.
GY has more options than any before. They can travel, communicate, access information, and connect with speed and efficiency never known. They’ve reinvented the way work can be organised. Traditional top-down, hierarchical structures are being swept away. Such work models are unresponsive, inefficient, limiting, and simply not needed. Yet many GY are frustrated to find themselves often working, worshipping, and stagnating in such structures.
If we take notice, this could be great news for the church! The reason is that unlike secular GY who are out to serve themselves Christian GYs are out to serve the body of Christ. However, given their unique perspective and skills they can’t serve effectively in traditional ministry models, so they’re about to invent a whole new way of doing ministry collaboratively in real-time. Watch out for a Facebook-replacing, ministry-collaboration, networking, news and media site! A map for doing this is embodied in a document called “The GYI Collaborative Ministry Model”. GY need understanding, support and encouragement to do what only they can! This is a movement that could lead to Christian revival, and generations before GY are willing to mentor and equip them to serve.
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