Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gen Me & Evangelism

Yesterday I posted about Jean Twenge's fantastic book, Generation Me. I wondered how this cultural shift affects the evangelism, church structures, and ways of being the church in the world. Today I reflect on Gen Me & evangelism.

So how does a shift in the attitudes and traits of Gen Me, people born in the 1970s, 80s and 90s affect the way we share the Good News of Jesus, or evangelism?

What if evangelism wasn't merely about "saving that soul" or making sure "I" had eternal salvation? What if evangelism is connecting people to: the movement of God in creation, most concretely seen in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus; a movement that is transforming creation into the New Creation; a movement where, once one is connected to it, "eternal life" and "transformation" are the fruit that is born out of the connection, or relationship, with God through Jesus.

And it would seem that we can't be in a transformative relationship to God without being in relationship to those around us. (the first and second greatest command, the sheep and the goats, etc.)

So maybe evangelism with Gen Me is about connection. Helping connect individual stories with God's Story. I once heard someone say that the goal is not to see how God fits into our story (a very individualized thought, eh?) but how our story connects with God's Story, the Eternal Story. (My apologies to the originator of that idea, I just can't remember who said it or wrote it - any help?)

The next connection, I think, would be to connect people with a community of faith where the community seeks to live out God's Story in creation - justice, righteousness, holiness. I think when people see others honestly trying to live this out in real, get-your-hands-dirty, authentic way they can't help but crave such authenticity.

So I guess the rabbit trail of my reflection on evangelism and Gen Me leads to this: sharing the good news (or evangelism) with the generation born in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s is about making connections: connecting our/their story with God's Story and connecting with a others who are seeking to live out God's story. The fruit of such connection is life-giving transformation, justice, righteousness, and holiness.

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure its got to be relational! This is certainly a big trend here in UK, where churches are thinking very much more relationally than a few years ago.

    It is also surely a key for online evangelism, which is what I try to write about at Internet Evangelism Day and at our