There is an interesting article in the recent issue of Connection, an SDMI newsletter that comes out once a month. The article is called “Meet the Plurals!” – just like that. So without further ado, let’s get to the details here so you can get acquainted (info below w/ bullet points cited from this article, September 2013 Edition):
- Plurals (also known as iGeneration, Generation We, and Generation Z) include all children born in 1997 or later. Meaning, the oldest in this group are turning 16 years in 2013.
- Plurals are 67 million strong and they will be the last North American generation with a caucasian majority (just a note of fact from the article).
- They are growing up and being raised in a very pluralistic society, which will have a lasting impact on their lives. This pluralistic feature will lend itself to tolerance like never before seen as they define and seek purpose.
- Plurals are the first generation born into a truly “digital” world. The cell phone is considered a necessity, a “birthright” as the article indicates. According to Forrester analyst Tracey Stokes, “The only world they know is a digital one – where they connect anytime, anywhere, and to anyone.” The internet and media will shape their understanding and their lives, making this the major gateway to communicating with them.
- Plural girls are more optimistic than Plural boys about earning good grades, going to college, and changing the world for the better.
- Plurals are less optimistic about the “American Dream” ~ they do not believe they will do well and the American Dream itself seems to fall into what’s relative to that person.
I share this with you just to point to the fact that these 67+ million will absolutely need the life-saving hope and love of Jesus! The Church, like never before, will have to be creative and responsive to children, teens, and future generations. But one things is certain: The Church does not need to be culturally relevant ~ it needs to be relationally connected to the Plurals.
With each Generation, and all the titles that get linked to them, there have been incredible ways and means to minister to them, to share the Gospel, and to live out the Kingdom life before them and with them. The saying is true, “It takes a village to raise a child.” We do well to see that and adopt that as the body of Christ. We (and when I say “we” I mean “The Church” as a whole) will need new leaders, new mentors, new disciples, new investors to the Plurals. It is true at the local, regional, and national level. As Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes a little child like this, in My Name, welcomes Me” (Matthew 18, v.5).
In lieu of that, let me say “Thank You!” to each and every one of our Nursery Workers, our Kid’s Church Team, our VBS Leaders & Servants, and our Youth Ministry Personnel. You are shining the light and you are making a difference! We appreciate your investment and sacrifice, and I want you to know we are shoulder-to-shoulder in the work of the Gospel. This starts and continues in the home ~ but is reinforced and encouraged by the Church. Many thanks to all who so generously give and lavish their time, energy, and resources in the direction of future generations! The work will continue…
In gratitude and humility, with His love,