What is Generation to Generation?
Generation to Generation invites, motivates, trains and educates leaders of the church (called and volunteer) to enable their congregations to be sustainable faith forming centers, helping families thrive for the sake of the Gospel. Faith in the home organically becomes ministry outreach as adults, children and those in their older years share the light of Christ in their everyday lives in their home, community and world around them.
Generation to Generation is holistic family-life education training created to build and enrich Christ-centered marriages, train parents in parent education and to equip parents with knowledge and skills to influence their child’s faith through the developmental and family life cycle. This initiative involves all life stages, including young adults, later years, non-nuclear families, human sexuality and cradle-to-grave faith formation.
The Mid-South District in partnership with Concordia Center for the Family – Ann Arbor and The Family Friendly Partnership Network are excited to begin this ministry paradigm shift – a shift which includes every generation living today, our parents, ourselves, our children, their children, to the next generation and beyond. This initiative will change the very DNA of how we live out our faith and encourage others to do so – beginning in our homes.
Why Generation to Generation now?
Look at the following data concerning each generation in America that has an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. As you look at the percentages, consider the Christian faith of the parents in each generation declining…
Builders born before 1945: 60%
Boomers born between 1946 and 1965: 40%
GenXers born between 1966-1985: 25%
Millennials born between 1986 and 2005: 4-6 %
Facts: One third of the world’s population is 15 and under.
Many parents today believe that attending church once per month is regular attendance.
The main influencers of a child’s faith are close family members and friends. Children may or may not be raised by their parents. Grandparents are often stepping into parental roles, raising their grandchildren while continuing to raise their adult children.
Many parents today do not understand their responsibility in passing their faith to their children.
The likelihood that a young adult will remain faithful to church and the faith after graduation if the only influence comes from the church is 25%…if from faith shared in the HOME, that number increases to 81%.
Generation to Generation will help the church move from the Institutional View of ministry (church asks homes and families to support and give to the church to build the organization) to the Biblical View (church intentionally forms their community of faith by partnering with the home and intentionally shapes the church to be a faith forming center). Through this initiative, parents will recognize their responsibility, mandated by God, to pass their faith on to their children.
Generation to Generation equips those who are in non-nuclear families, gets real and honest about human sexuality, helps people learn to manage the resources God has given them, and helps families with members in the later years. With the help of God, we will shift the function of the church, going from church centered/home supported ministry to home centered/church supported ministry.
Who is participating in Generation to Generation now?
Two BETA groups were selected by our District Pilot Team to represent a variety of churches – small, larger, rural, urban, school, preschool, dual parish, etc. – across the district. Ten congregations were recruited in the West Region, seven began Orientation in Conway last month. Included in West Region: Bella Vista Lutheran Church, Bella Vista; Salem Lutheran Ministries, Springdale; Peace Lutheran Church, Conway; Redeemer Lutheran Church, Mountain Home; Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Jonesboro; St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lafe; and Christ the King Lutheran Church, Memphis. Over 60 people from those congregations gathered with Professor Ben Freudenburg for the first of seven training seminars. Each congregation signed a two-year commitment.
Interested in learning more about Generation to Generation?
Generation to Generation is currently recruiting East Region congregations to participate, beginning orientation in January 2019. Generation to Generation District Representatives will be available at the Spring Pastors’ Conference, the Mid-South District Convention, as well as the Fall Pastors’ Conference to provide more information or you may call Alison Hawkins at the District Office.
What will be the results of Generation to Generation?
Churches across the world have recognized the importance and urgency to reach out to others with the Good News of Jesus Christ. However, families are struggling to reach out to their own children and loved ones with that same Good News. It is not too late – the time is now. Generation to Generation will equip and encourage families through these ever-changing times to become the faith influencers in their own homes, in their schools, their workplace, the community and the world.