June 28, 2016

8 Reasons "Boomers" Fear Change in Their 'Church'

Change comes with every generation, however, people struggle with change, especially “Boomers”. Change for them is hard and they tend to cling to the traditional and the status quo for a sense of security. 

For decades “Boomers” have influenced their leaders and transformed their organizations and places of worship. From Billy Graham to Dr. Martin Luther King their generation has and will have a lasting impact on America. From the moon landing to the civil rights movement there is no question they have made their mark.

They are the generation of access, affluence and self. A generation that, “believed that the world is theirs for the taking if they worked hard.”  - Haydn Shaw

They are the first generation since Martin Luther to influence and oversee change in how the ‘church’ functions. So they are not going to just hand over their mantles or positions of leadership, control and influence without reservation, hesitation and in some instances, a good fight. 

If you are a  younger ministry leader, seeking to influence change in your ministry, whether you are a youth minister or Christian education director, pastor or worship leader, understand that for the first time in history, ministry leaders have to manage and understand the concerns of five different generations. 
  • “Traditionalist” (Born before 1945)
  • “Baby Boomers” (Born 1946-1964)
  • “Generation X” (Born 1965 – 1980)
  •  “Millennials”. (Born 1981- 2001)

  • “iGeneration” (Born after 2001)
Understanding the different generations is the first step in influencing change your ministry is looking for. 

“The reason we struggle with other generations is that we don’t understand them.” - Haydn Shaw, Generational IQ.

Each generations view of ministry and what they believe, is influenced by the times they are born in. Here’s why “boomers” including those who are leaders, are not so easily moved to change.
  1. Fear that if they change in order to reach a younger generation they could lose the one thing they love more, their place of worship.

  2. They don’t want to change anything about their place of worship. In their minds everything is just fine the way it is.

  3. Not willing to understand another generation.

  4. Don’t see where they fit in with changes that are needed.

  5. The changes make them feel old and irrelevant.

  6. Many find it difficult to follow someone much younger (10 or more years) than they are.

  7. They give the most and understand that their place of worship is depended on them for its very survival.

  8. Upton Sinclair said it best, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
This blog post is the latest addition to my Change series. See also:

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