The first century church worshipped in homes. They existed as small and medium sized groups. In their context there were no large sized groups. Galatians 4:4 is an important text to reference; here’s a paraphrase: God sent Jesus at just the right time. In other words, God specifically picked that time period for which to send for His Sin
- Spiritual formation and growth – Through our large and medium sized groups we are currently organized to teach people the content of the Bible. However, because we lack small sized groups, there is not substantial opportunity to process the content and apply it within the context of our own situations. This is due to the fact that people are reticent to “open up” in medium and large sized groups. People are more than willing to talk about an issue
- Live out the “one another” passages.
- We should not have to work around our structure (the way we practice our faith) in order to implement the directives of the Bible. The structure should support those.
Baby-Boom Generation (1946-1964) – This generation is 66 to 48 years old and is beginning to enter into retirement years. Their lives (including their religion) have roots and as such they are unlikely to make any significant changes—including coming to or changing churches. They are characterized as a materialistic generation that enjoyed the prosperity created by those who came before them. They did not experience (not can they understand) the struggles that they preceding generations endured. They have expected to be served and catered to. In the religious context this is demonstrated through the development of the entertainment-focused worship services. This was the first generation that was widely educated; with approximately 30% hold college degrees. This is by far the highest percent of any generation coming before them. This led them to highly value education for their children.
Generation X (1965-1980) – This generation is 47-32 years old. They have established careers and are greatly in debt. While they have worked hard to develop their careers, they have been slow to have children and develop their faith. Referring to their faith, this generation is widely guilty of abandoning any religious heritage their parents passed on to them when they left home. Now, as they are raising children, the priority to reestablish the practice of their religion is becoming more important.
Generation Y or Millennials (1980-2000) – This generation is 32 to 12 years old.