Month: April 2016

A Word to Us Children of the 80s

A few weeks ago I went to the dentist.  When the doctor walked in, I remember thinking this guy still has to be in high school.  It was confirmation that I no longer qualify as a “young adult.”  I am just an adult.  My wife and I regularly talk about how different life is from just 10 years ago.  Our schedules are different.  Our responsibilities are different.  So much has changed as we have transitioned from the youngest adult generation to make room for the Millennials.

I think it is vital for us as members of Generation X to be the adults in our church.  Not the YOUNG adults.  Not the SENIOR adults.  Just the ADULTS.  While each generation is essential to a healthy multi-generational church, I want to speak directly to us Gen Xers, the children of the 80s, on our role in the church today.

Generation X must be the adults in church. Click To Tweet

As the ADULTS, we can ensure a healthy culture in the church if we…

Solve Problems

It has always been easy for us to point out the problems with the church.  It was too this or too that when we were growing up.  Now it is too this or too that in church today.  At this stage of our lives, we have the opportunity and responsibility to solve those problems.  Our life experiences, values, maturity and stage of life give us a unique ability to solve problems because we understand the perspectives of each generation.  Our parents are Boomers or part of the Silent Generation.  Our kids are Millennials.

Generation X understands the perspectives of each generation Click To Tweet

Keep in mind, solving problems is different than pointing out problems.  Get involved in ministry and help make our church better.  We need leaders and problem solvers to come along side staff in every area of ministry.  We have problems that are waiting for you and your unique perspective to be recognized and solved.  Talk to a staff member this week about how you can get involved and solve problems.

Build Bridges

We have all experienced the Generation Gap in some way.  As young leaders in church, family, community or business, you hit a wall because you were too young or were trying to change things that weren’t supposed to be changed.  Some of us still carry some bitterness toward older generations as a result.

I believe God wants us as a church to be unified.  We need to be bridge builders between generations.  We need to ensure that the experiences and wisdom of older generations are appreciated and maximized rather than minimalized.  We need to ensure that the passions and zeal of the younger generations are encouraged and engaged rather than crushed or stifled.  Lead in the building of bridges between generations in our church.

Generation X must step up and work to solve the problems. Click To Tweet

In Philippians 2, Paul gives instruction on what I believe it looks like to be bridge builders.  In verses 3–4, he tells us:

  • Don’t seek personal glory or your personal preference
  • Humbly value others above yourself
  • Look to serve the interests of others

As our church continues to reach our community with the gospel and develop future generations to be followers of Jesus, let it be said of us that we didn’t just talk about problems in the church, but that we stepped up and worked to solve the problems. Let our legacy be a healthy church culture where all generations are valued, engaged and united in our mission, to reach people with the gospel and develop them into committed followers of Christ.

Let our legacy be a healthy church culture where all generations are valued, engaged and united. Click To Tweet

10 Books I am Reading This Year

By Tom Messer

I often get asked what I am reading.  Here is a list of books that I will be reading this year.

Tim Chester and Steve Timmins
Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission




2Bradley J. Birzer
Russell Kirk: American Conservative





3JD Greear
Gaining By Losing





4Morton Kondracke and Fred Barnes
Jack Kemp: The Bleeding Heart Conservative Who Changed America




5William Manchester
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874–1932




6David T. Olson
The American Church in Crisis





7David Platt
Counter Culture





8Leyland Ryken
J.I. Packer: An Evangelical Life





9Nathan Tarr
The Fruit of Lips that Acknowledge His Name: The Witness of Pastor Paul Schneider




10Christopher J. H. Wright
The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative




What are you reading this year? Comment below and let me know.

3 Ways Millennials can help Bridge the Generational Gap within the Church

Dear Millennials,
I am a millennial! Yes, I love my iPhone and technology. Yes, I post a lot on social media. Yes, I wear skinny jeans. Yes, I like contemporary worship. I am like you in most every way, and I want to write directly to our generation today.

I have read numerous articles about how the church is trying to figure us out. Much has been written about why so many of us have chosen to leave church over the years. Many church leaders are trying to figure out creative ways to bring us back to church.

I believe that one of the reasons so many of our generation has left the church is because we have no clue how to relate to other generations within the church. On the flip side, every generation is racking their brain at how they are supposed to relate to our hipster, skinny jeans wearing, contemporary, fashionable, and progressive minded generation.
So much is written about what other generations can do for us, but I want to take a different approach in this post. I want to write about what we can do for them. I want to write to our generation about what we can do to bridge the generational gap within our churches without leaving the church.

Here are 3 ways we can bridge the generational gap within the church:

1. Respect generational traditions
The first thing that we can do is respect the traditions of other generations. We like to change tradition, and not be bound by it. We want to do things differently and in our own new way.
The negative to this is that we have come across as a generation that does not respect how we got to where we are today.
We have painted a picture to other generations that we do not like or respect their traditions.
We tend to demand respect; not show respect.
As much as we want other generations to respect the way that we view church and live our lives, we should equally respect the way that other generations view church and live their lives.
When generations respect one another, the church becomes stronger.

2. Listen and Learn from other generations
Instead of criticizing other generations, I want to encourage us to take a much different approach: listen and learn from them.
We have painted the idea in people’s minds that we know everything, and we cannot learn from anyone. People view our generation as a group of people who believe they have it all figured out.
Rick Warren said, “Every leader is a learner. When you stop learning, you stop leading.”
We all have something to learn.
Don’t act like you have it all figured it out. Try a different approach as you seek to relate to other generations. Find out what you can learn from them instead of what you can teach them.
When generations learn from each other, the church becomes smarter.

3. Serve with someone from a different generation
One of the best things that churches can do to bridge generational gaps is to have different generations serving together.
Churches unintentionally have segregated generations within the church instead of integrating them.
Our churches need groups and volunteer positions that bring generations together.
When generations serve with each other, the church becomes healthier.

I hope that these suggestions bridge the generational gaps within our church rather than divide them. We would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below about how Millennials can help bridge the generational gaps within the church.

10 Tweets From Yesterday’s Sermon – Multi-Generational Church — A Common Authority

Comment below which quote was your favorite.

  1. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]The Bible is a book for all times, all people, all places, all cultures, and all generations.[/clickandtweet]
  2. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]God’s truth is a timeless authority.[/clickandtweet]
  3. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]The Bible possesses something that no amount of life experience or generational wisdom can come close to: divine inspiration.[/clickandtweet]
  4. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]The Word of God is the standard by which everything else should be measured.[/clickandtweet]
  5. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]God’s truth offers a timeless salvation.[/clickandtweet]
  6. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]The Bible offers to us a salvation that is both exclusive and sufficient.[/clickandtweet]
  7. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]God’s truth provides a timeless process for spiritual transformation.[/clickandtweet]
  8. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]God’s truth has transforming power in your life stage, at your age, and in your current experiences; TODAY — it produces a timeless transformation.[/clickandtweet]
  9. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]A multi-generational church is strongest when it is unified under a common authority, the Word of God.[/clickandtweet]
  10. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Every one of us, regardless of generation, preferences, or past experiences should submit our actions, thoughts, and opinions to the authority of God’s truth.[/clickandtweet]

Click here to listen to the message.

10 Tweets From Yesterday’s Sermon – Healing Broken People

Encourage someone with one of these tweets.

  1. [clickandtweet handle="" hashtag="" related="" layout="" position=""]The resurrection of Jesus Christ provides a cure for the failure and brokenness that is part of human experience.[/clickandtweet]
  2. [clickandtweet handle="" hashtag="" related="" layout="" position=""]There is a personal nature to the power of the resurrection that gives hope to each of us who struggle as followers of Jesus.[/clickandtweet]
  3. [clickandtweet handle="" hashtag="" related="" layout="" position=""]There are no perfect people and each of those who are broken can find hope and healing in our relationship with Jesus.[/clickandtweet]
  4. [clickandtweet handle="" hashtag="" related="" layout="" position=""]Healing for our brokenness only comes when we honestly face the facts about our situation and ourselves.[/clickandtweet]
  5. [clickandtweet handle="" hashtag="" related="" layout="" position=""]When you get the gospel and understand the fact that your identity is not in your performance or your record, you can handle your failure.[/clickandtweet]
  6. [clickandtweet handle="" hashtag="" related="" layout="" position=""]Jesus went to the cross so that you would know that he would rather lose the whole universe than lose you.[/clickandtweet]
  7. [clickandtweet handle="" hashtag="" related="" layout="" position=""]You can never be all that God intends for you to be apart from repentance.[/clickandtweet]
  8. [clickandtweet handle="" hashtag="" related="" layout="" position=""]Lack of love for Jesus is always the sin beneath our sin.[/clickandtweet]
  9. [clickandtweet handle="" hashtag="" related="" layout="" position=""]It is through your brokenness that you experience the fresh beginnings with God.[/clickandtweet]
  10. [clickandtweet handle="" hashtag="" related="" layout="" position=""]The Christian life is best expressed when you give your life away in the same way that Jesus did.[/clickandtweet]