of them were too young to have been greatly impacted or experienced benefit from it, except through their parents spiritual journey. This group represents 27.4% of the population in Texas right now or approximately 7,672,000 people (nationally this number is over 60M); with 68% of the population seen as lost, this means 5,216,960 GenXers need Christ in Texas (beginning thinking nationally and we see over 45M needing to be reached). Our churches must shift our focus from reaching a singular generation to reaching all generations. There is a mid-group of Xers referred to today as Xennials; they bridge the years of millennials and GenX; somewhere around 1977-1984 for their birth years. Essentially this is the group which was educated analog, but whose first jobs were digital; making their education immediately obsolete upon graduating college. Reaching GenX is difficult. Disenfranchisement with institutionalized thinking did not start with millennials. GenXers are the ones who started the path of not looking for a career but rather working a job at a company…therefore commitment to the organization wains with this group. The impact to the church is persons who do not “buy-in” to church as previous generations had done. They are skeptical. Their parents went to church and divorced; they do not see how religion helps…after all their parents were religious and
they failed in life. So to reach the GenXer, we have to help them understand relationship. This is something Xers crave. They desire to be in community. Pastors need to preach “how to” sermons. It is not only about biblical content, but how the Bible is relevant to their lives today. How can the Bible help them live out more impactful lives. The church needs to teach life skills. The top end of Xers are confronted with aging parents who will live longer and the possibility of the on-going need of extended medical care while dealing with boomerang millennials who are moving back home after college due to the job markets present shift. Xers need training on how to plan more effectively for this. Additionally they look for community engagement; therefore an “on-mission” church, working in the community will engage them in spiritual conversations.
Best Practices for Church Revitalization and Renewal
Evangelism engagement should be focused on methods such as “Walk Across the Room” or “SPLASH” or other relationship evangelism methods. Equipping existing GenXers to reach others in their peer group will prove the greatest benefit. For the church today, we need to begin a reaching ministry among all generations. I hope this small article helps you to begin thinking about who in your community are you not targeting.
The church is open to new relationships.
By Tom Cheyney Worship engages people in praising a living God who is present in the services. There is a great effort towards developing a connecting community. Believe ministry is collaborative. Believe discipleship is a better choice over the consumer Christian mentality. Favorably seek to become deeper and more spiritual over the prevailing decline towards spiritual maturity. Membership is focused on being true disciples and followers of Christ. Church leadership understands change is part of real and lasting revitalization. Pastors practice spiritual disciplines daily.
Secrecy is not part of this new effort but clear communication is. The church willingly makes any changes necessary to align itself with what it perceives God is calling it to be. Prayer is a necessity for renewal within the congregation.
Kenneth Priest serves as the Director of Convention Strategies for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in Grapevine, TX. He holds a Doctor of Educational Ministry degree with an emphasis in Church Revitalization from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO. He serves as an adjunct professor of church revitalization in the doctoral program with MBTS and an adjunct professor of evangelism and church growth with The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY. Please contact Kenneth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Best Practices for Church Revitalization and Renewal