The generations are at it again. Last week someone local wrote an op-ed piece for the Waco Tribune-Herald about the great glory of the baby boomers and the economic conditions into which they will be retiring.
Today the Trib published another point of view; this from a man “born in 1936.” Clearly not a baby boomer. This man, like the other, speaks of the glory of his generation: “Older generations like mine, which endured the Great Depression and World War II, remember a time of scarcity and the virtues of thrift.” He goes on a bit, decrying the younger generation.
All of which brings up my question for any and every generation that finds itself lamenting the young folk: “What ownership will you take in the younger generation having become the people they are?”
Those of us in youth ministry know that drawing hard and fast distinctions or digging great chasms between generations only hides the truth that we are all, no matter the generation, people created by God and in need of redemption.
Youth Ministry in the “One-Eared-Mickey-Mouse” model, to borrow a phrase from Kenda Creasy Dean, plays into this attitude of generational difference. You and I know people who are 20 who already act like they have nothing in common with teens, and we know people well into retirement who are easily able to relate to tweens.
If we are to have any chance to buck this trend of pitting generation against generation, we ought not wait for the younger generation to start it. We ought to be bridge builders rather than gap diggers. It will likely take at least a generation to make much difference, but I, for one, believe it worth the effort.
Rev. Steve Heyduck
Methodist Children’s Home
1111 Herring Ave.
Waco, TX 76708
254-750-1310 – office
254-715-4956 – cell