Center for Student Missions was started 25 years ago. The context we work in today is almost unrecognizable through the lens of a generation ago. Our culture has been shaped by urbanization. Our national landscape has been rearranged by immigration. Our worldview has shifted from a modern and Christian/Judeo assumption to a postmodern and post Christian set of values and beliefs.
I really don’t like to put labels on people or generations but, call them what you will, the “Millennials”, or the “Y” generation, THIS generation has a culture all it’s own and brings exciting challenges to those who are willing to help shape it with a Biblical world view and heart for wholistic mission. Nothing has had more implications for CSM than the shift in youth culture and youth ministry.
Here is a simplified list of some of these shifts:
- Modern to Postmodern
- Evangelism to Wholistic and Justice
- Suburban to Urban culture
- Pop music to Hip Hop
- TV to Internet to Smart phones
- Access to porn magazines to Free and open Internet
- Longer attention spans to Short attention spans
- Biblical spirituality to Smorgasbord of spiritual experience
- Work and career first to Play first
- Career to Job hoppers
- “Friends” to Community
- Independence to Expectation of mentoring
- Tech savvy to Tech addicted
- Task focus to Famously multi-taskers
Everything about youth culture is consumed by technology. Though this generation is more focused on “me”, it provokes the internal challenge about a social conscience.
Can you think of implications for reaching, discipling, training and nurturing this generation? I’d love to hear some creative and innovative ideas on how CSM can continue to be a relevant part of shaping this generation’s values, beliefs and actions, especially in mission to their world. Please share your ideas on CSM's Facebook page...
As for me, I wake up in the morning with this prayer from Psalms 71:18:
“And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Thy strength to this generation, Thy power to all who are to come”!
- Dan Reeve, CSM President