Dangling Conversations

My friend Jim Pinto is an engineer, so he always researches and sometimes overthinks things (as a reader of this blog, does that sound familiar?). He was raised as a Catholic in India. Gives him a perspective on life that I find valuable.

He recently became bored with adult conversations at a gathering. Ever happen to you? Adults usually talk about other people. Or, as they get older, they talk about themselves–their medications, ailments, aches, doctors.

I know that conversations are not listed on Richard J. Foster’s exhaustive list of spiritual disciplines. Think about it for a minute. Are there not times when you could steer conversation intentionally toward new ideas? Toward growth moments? Or even toward spiritual life?

Another friend recently received a cross about two feet high to place in his yard from his church. The idea was that it could be a conversation starter. Someone walks by, sees the cross, asks about it, and you have an opening to talk about church and life with God.

I should mention that he lives in a retirement community in Florida. The first person who walked by asked, “Aww, did your dog die?” The second person asked if someone was killed on the road in an accident. Oh, well. Nice try.

Anyway, back to Jim. Remember him? He was bored with adult conversation and did what I like to do–go talk with the kids. They are enthusiastically learning new things and sharing them. Life is an adventure to them. They get new ideas, try them out, explore them.

Jim things that the generation of teens today (whatever label marketing people are giving them) will change the world for the better. I told him that that’s just what people said about us–the Boomers. We only sort of did that. But the majority also were the “Me Generation” and we can see that in everything from politics to fashion.

I hope he’s right.

But I began to wonder–how many Millennials (say 20 to 35 years old today in my terms) are there in your church? How many are you nurturing? In my case, none. That’s not good.

Then, how are you relating to today’s teens? Are you nurturing and mentoring anyone that age?

I sense that is the task of older people. A generation of church leaders sprang up against much opposition to reach a younger population (think Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley). Are those churches still relevant to the next younger population? Is yours?

Bet we have work to do.

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