The Church must engage with the missing generations.

In 2006 the NCLS survey established a need for relevant / innovative, visionary churches with strong leadership to engage with the younger generations who are distinctively missing from church life. [1]

The church needs to develop these core qualities and develop an ideology towards restructuring the societal commitment of the missing generations. However to do this successfully it will need to engage in a countercultural form of societal engineering. If they can successfully identify existing communal social markers and rites of passages which are inherently associated with this generation; they will be better placed to successfully engage with and replicate a place of communal belonging through creating alternative social markers and rites of passages.


[1] NCLS Fact Sheet, Why Innovation Is Needed In Church Life. http://www.ncls.org.au/default.aspx?sitemapid=6516

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About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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5 Responses to The Church must engage with the missing generations.

  1. tildeb says:

    Or… you could turn over a new leaf and start by respecting what’s true. It might carry some weight with them in this age of information. But then… yeah, I see the problem you’re having: it’s getting harder and harder to make the stories you offer any more meaningful than just another less-than-Twilight movie.

  2. Craig, something about “societal engineering” just doesn’t sit right with me.

    I think the fact that the church has lost touch with significant segments of society, shows that as an institution, it has lost touch with its community. I get that the advocates of such “engineering” want to remedy this – & being thoughtful about it is a good thing – but whatever happened to just loving and connecting with people??

    • Craig Benno says:

      Hi Kerry. The usage is framed within sociological language and is part of research I am doing in the area of rites of passage and social markers. Loving people is indeed a great precept. By understanding social markers and rites of passage, the church can actually engage in loving people more effectively.

      For example how do we handle the rites of passage for our children transitioning from teenager to adult. Boy to man. Girl to Woman. I posted on this subject this morning. What are the conflicting messages we give to our children within this transitioning period? I believe the church has a lot to offer to this discussion.

      It’s not that the church has lost touch, its that the church hasn’t understood the sociological changes of society and post modernism. The older generation find comfort in sacramentalism, reverence and rituals. Where the younger generation, 18-35 are into contemporary music, innovation, social justice. Within this framework of being, we can actually identify these new markers and make an adjustment.

      Within the framework of sociological language, the term ‘social engineering’ means simply to understand, adjust and tweak our approach.

  3. tildeb says:

    Craig, you explain that the church needs to develop core qualities and counter-cultural societal engineering through restructuring the societal commitment. This is gobbilty gook verbiage typical in in term-heavy substance-light sociology: it means whatever you want it to mean.

    If you want to re-engage people in your church, then you need to first respect what’s true about why people are not engaging with it. This is a no brainer. To this end there is some good a href=”http://www.olivetreemedia.com.au/resources/Olive%20Tree%20Media/Apologetics%20Series/Reseach%20Summary-web.pdf”>research available that begins to explore why 1 in 2 Australians don’t identify with a religion and they are as follows:

    1: Church abuse
    2: Religious war
    3: Judging others
    4: Religious views
    5: Suffering
    6: Issues around money
    7: Outdated
    8: Hell and damnation
    9: Homosexuality
    10: Exclusivity

    Deal with those issues as a religion and then maybe you can begin to reverse the growing popular trend away from it. But then, it wouldn’t be christianity, now would it?

  4. tildeb says:

    There should be tag inserted without a space right after the word research to close the link that will change the following italics back to normal. Sorry… I’m getting sloppy.

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