Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Millennials, Yuppies, and Baby Boomers

  • Jim Townsley
  • Feb 27, 2017
Times are changing more rapidly than ever before in history. The changing times affect every aspect of our lives including our church life. How do the cultural shifts in the world affect planting and building churches? With today’s modern technology changing so rapidly it is difficult to keep up with the latest trends and fads. How important is it for church planters to keep up with the latest technology and adapt to the changing culture? Is it necessary to be culturally relevant? To answer these questions it is important to consider history.
Today’s young people are called Millennial’s and they have their own tendencies and procedures. Prior to that were Generation X’ers and before that were Yuppies and before that were Hippies who were preceded by Baby-boomers. During the era of the baby boomers in the fifties and sixties there was a cultural revolution. Historical records remind us that the sixties was a time of rebellion against the establishment. Rock and roll music emerged which coincided with the rebellious spirit of the times. Sit-ins and marches emphasized the rights of the individual. The miniskirt on girls and long hair on men became the outward signs of this new culture.  Hippies became a new word added to our dictionary as some young people sought to find their identity through a counter culture. How was the church to respond to these societal changes? 
Many religious groups endeavored to reach this young generation by adapting to the culture of the day. Coffee houses sprang up all over the country and churches began to incorporate the music of the day (evolving into contemporary Christian music) into the outreach of their ministries. The attitude was “you can’t reach them unless you are like them.” Almost nothing lasting remains from those compromising endeavors. The idea of engaging the culture watered down the clear message of the gospel and in the end this new evangelical approach provided nothing lasting in the lives of young people. Time proved there was no real meaning found in this new approach. 
The reason those methods failed is because there were biblical principles that were ignored or violated. Their message was overshadowed by their method and eventually their method became their message. Keeping up with technology is not sinful nor is it compromising, however adapting the church to a culture that is contrary to the Bible and holiness is certain to fail. Why? In Plain Site, a contemporary web site, the author indicated the philosophy of the contemporary church movement stating they are “charting the way for those who look to felt-needs, surveys, the latest innovations and market strategy, instead of Scripture, for their structuring of the local church.” 
There is nothing wrong with using technology. There are many advances that have provided many tools the church can use to reach the lost and build the church. However, a reliance on these new methods cannot replace the Spirit of God. The power of God is never found in technology. Every new church needs a web site but equally they need prayer and evangelization through witnessing and preaching.
There is no substitute for prayer, soul-winning and hard work. The ministry is not easy nor is it intended to be. Sometimes there will be persecution and often there will be trials and struggles, but struggle was prominent in the early church and throughout centuries before us. The church continued on even through trials and struggles. Why do we think it will be different today? The world, the flesh, and the devil are still at work and they are still the enemy of the church. 
Churches that didn’t compromise during the rebellious age of the sixties saw tremendous fruit and today they have a lasting legacy of people saved and leaders trained to carry on the mission of evangelizing the world. Don’t be taken in by some new easy method promoted through a church growth conference. God’s plan has not changed. Just keep following His plan.