Closing Generation Gap Should Be Priority for the Church
PEORIA – Conference Lay Leader Ken Miller offered some advice to the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference on how to bridge a growing generation gap in The United Methodist Church during his laity address June 7.
- We have to want to change. Change cannot come from the outside. It must come from within.
- We have to be willing to listen to our younger brothers and sisters. Let their voices be heard. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone put you down because you are young.”
- We have to develop a clear path and mission. A plan that is outward focused-future oriented and committed to the next generation. “When we are unclear about our purpose and direction we are measuring input rather than outcomes,” Miller said. “Today, most people are seeking more than membership. They are seeking real community-a changed life. We have to answer the question of how are we reaching those people who are touched by loneliness-poverty-violence and racism.”
- We must offer an open hand rather than a closed fist.
- We need to keep God front and center in all that we do and continue to strive to accomplish our mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ. We should put God first, pray for one another, strengthen one another, watch over one another and hold one another accountable in Christ. John Wesley wrote “let us have an especial care to set God always before us.”