Transgenerational Ministry in the 21st Century
June 6, 2012
Transgenerational Community in the 21st Century
I’ve been at the meeting of the Memphis Annual Conference for the last few days and it has caused me to think about building communities across all age ranges. The reason I’m thinking about this is because I see a greater variety of people using communications tech every year. Retired pastors check in on Facebook, delegates use Twitter, pictures being posted online by proud grandparents and the use of media continues.
In small towns and major cities, I have seen grandmothers using Facebook to keep track of their grandchildren and I have seen teenagers texting their pastor with a prayer need. Men and women in the military easily jump on to Skype just so they can stay in touch with their families and, even when away for years at a time, they are able to watch these children grow. Personally, I have been able to dialogue and develop friendships with people from around the world just using a laptop and a wifi connection.
The question we find ourselves asking is, “Are these communities?” Well, let me act like a halfway decent pastor or counselor and ask a few questions in return. First, does praying for an individual build community? Second, does raising support for someone in need build a community? Third, is going to a strange city and meeting someone you have talked to online for over a decade help build community? Of course, these questions are not limited to just three and I could continue thinking up many others until the battery on my Macbook Pro dies. That’s not the point. The point is that communities and how we view them are changing and they’re not limited to age, gender, culture, or economic background. So, are we willing to build scary, transgenerational, transeconomic, transgender, and transcultural community? I don’t know.
No public Twitter messages.