Generational Sensibility for Leadership Development
Generational Sensibility—one of the twelve recommended leadership development competencies—includes:
- Understanding that along with life-stage differences, there are differences in generations based on the societal shifts they experience during their different life stages.
- Understanding that different generations have different attitudes and values in congregational life.
- Paying attention to how other communities are engaging with different generations.
- (Please note that most of the resources point to white middle-class experience.)
We are committed to the practice of radical hospitality, where we encounter each person as a gift. We are committed to the ideal of true diversity, because we understand that as we encounter, experience and integrate diverse ideas and values to work our way closer to our understanding of the “truth.”
- Create opportunities for the generations to interact in playful as well as meaningful ways.
- Understand your stereotypes and preconceptions so that you can set them aside as you encounter real people.
Carol Howard Merritt, Presbyterian minister and author of The Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation talks about reaching out to young adults in our congregations:
William Strauss and Neil Howe are the authors on several books on generational theory.
- Neil Howe on the Millennials (Part 1, 19:45)
- Neil Howe on the Millennials (Part 2, 9:17)
- William Strauss on Millennials (1:04:05)
- Neil Howe on Generation X (9:20)
- Neil Howe on the GI Generation, the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers (20:41)
- Neil Howe and William Strauss on Chuck Underwood's Generations—The Silent Generation (59:11)
- Generations of Faith Overview (YouTube, 9:22), Presentation
- Leadership and Generational Theory Overview (YouTube, 7:04, Presentation
- A Passionate Commitment to Young Adults (YouTube, 5:54), 1st Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church of San Diego, CA
- Your Children in Your Missional Community (YouTube, 2:45) Jo Saxton from the 2011 Exponential Conference
- Tips on How to Greet Young Adults at UU Churches (PDF)
- Improve Young Adult Ministry at Your Congregation by Annie Gonzalez
- Overview of Generational Archetypes Throughout History (PDF, 6 pages)
- Overview of Cultural Turnings in History (PDF, 5 pages)
- Five Reasons Why Millennials Do Not Want to Be Pastors or Staff in Established Churches By
- 6 Reasons Millennials Aren’t at Your Church by Aaron Earls
- Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church by Rachel Held Evans
- 5 Reasons Millennials Stay Connected to Church by the Barna Group
- Why Aren’t Black Millennials Leaving the Church? by Brian T. Calvin
- Valuing the Resources of the Young by Carol Howard Merritt
- Enough With 1968, Already by PeaceBang
- Church for the Under-Forty Crowd: Attracting Younger Adults to Congregational Life by Sarah B. Drummond (Alban Institute); includes questions for reflection
- Dear Church: a blog post holding up a mirror to church from a young adult's point of view
- The Church's Doomed Pursuit of the Elusive Young Adult, Bruce Reyes-Chow, Huffington Post
- The Church's Generational Log Jam is Making Everybody Cranky by Pastor Keith Anderson
- Remember Us? Boomers and Millennials, Don't Forget the Sillent and GenX Generations by Kimberley Debus
- You Can't Fool the Youth by Yonah Schiller about how he made over Hillel campus ministy at Tulane, growing 230%
- The Future of Faith (YouTube 35:45)by Carey McDonald
Stewardship: Talkin' 'bout the Generations (YouTube 1:00:48) by Renee Ruchotzke
- Attracting Young Adults MidAmerica Region
- UU University 2009: A Family Under One Sky: Ministry Across the Generations
- Becoming Welcoming to Young Adults (YouTube, 1:05:26) Workshop with Rachel Stevenson and Patricia Infante
- LifeCourse Associates: a publishing, speaking, and consulting company built on the generational discoveries of Neil Howe and William Strauss
- Faith Formation for the 21st Century: analyze the driving forces influencing faith formation and the diversity of spiritual and religious needs of people and communities today
- Generational Theory Blog by UU Kimberly Debus
- Tribal Church Blog and articles by Carol Howard Merritt
Books (Generations and Faith)
- Generations of Faith: A Congregational Atlas by Carl G. Eeman
- Reverend X: How Generation X Ministers are Shaping Unitarian Universalism Tamara LeBak & Bret Lortie, eds.
- Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X by Tom Beaudoin
- You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman
- The Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation by Carol Howard Merritt
- Faith Formation 2020: Designing the Future of Faith Formation by John Roberto