By Tom Sine
I am so delighted that Christine invited us to focus on the gift of hospitality as we race towards Thanksgiving 2022. I hope you found my recent post on hospitality stimulating. As I described in the article, Christine and I have thoroughly enjoyed hosting a co-living Christian community called Mustard Seed House for 30 years.
Mustard Seed House is comprised of three two bedroom apartments. We offer reduced rents to young couples who want to participate in a co-living community. We share one meal each week, sharing our activities in our lives and faith. We also participate in gardening one day a month.
Discovering the Good News Generation
In this post I want to enable you to discover not only the benefit of co-living with Gen Next. I also want you to also discover, as we have, that Gen Y & Z are the good news generation. I find a lot of Christian leaders know the disappointing news Pew Research has predicted about Generations Y & Z for over a decade…that a growing number of them will not affiliate with the church. However, few church leaders seem to be aware of the remarkably positive profile of this new generation. I want share some very good news about Gen Next and show you some concrete ways they can be very good new to those in your community who are struggling and our churches who are looking for new ways to make a difference in these troubled times.
Discovering the Gifts of the Good News Generation
Since Gen Y & Z are the first digital generation, they are much more aware of the urgent issues of environmental, racial and economic justice. They are not only more aware, but a higher percentage of them want to actually invest their lives in serious change making to address these challenges in our neighborhoods and our world.
For example, the United Nations Climate Change Summit is beginning this week in Egypt. You can be sure that not only Greta Thunberg, but many others from Gen Y & Z will find ways to participate since they realize that the 2020s is a make or break decade. Many of them are committed to reversing climate crisis not only for their kids, but to prevent a more immediate disaster for our poorest neighbors and their kids in the majority world. Many of these young people are ready to work with our churches to address this crisis in your community. Many of them would welcome the opportunity to join the Million Tree Project that the Mennonite Church has recently launched.
This is an invitation to join those in our churches who are empowering Gen Y & Z and their strong concerns for issues of environmental, racial and economic justice. What are innovative ways you and your church could join others in creating creative ways to empower some of the Good News Generation where you live? Please send me info on what you are launching or considering. I want to share it with others who want to support this Good News Generation in this decade of accelerating change.
Gen Next offer our churches and communities a welcome group of volunteers to join change making teams where you live. However, this Good News Generation is facing two serious challenges that many in our congregations don’t seem to be aware of. The Good News Generation has much higher school debts than Xer or Boomer generations that makes it hard for them to act on their strong concerns. They also are facing much higher housing costs.
That is why a growing number of Christians are offering reduced rent to enable those in the Good News Generations to allow them to have more time to work in a social enterprises and other forms of change-making
For example, a young man in a black church in Grand Rapids became concerned a couple years ago about the concerning number of young in his churchs’ neighborhood who were not able to afford college and had limited work opportunities after high school. This young change maker got permission from his church to create a remarkable dual job training program that was life changing for many young people in his churchs’ community. They offered two training programs. First, a program training high school grads in housing construction trades that pay well. The second was a training program for working in speciality coffee shops. This offers a doorway for young people who want to work in the food service field.
Could you or a cluster of your friends in your congregations enable members of the Good News Generation to launch new job training opportunities or perhaps start neighborhood garden projects? Or could you and your friends create some less expensive co-housing models for members of the Good News Generation so they have more time to complete their schooling or join some of their friends in creating other forms social innovation?
As you know, as a result of the pandemic a number of churches are experiencing not only declining attendance but also declining giving, which causes a serious decline in reaching out to neighbors in need. If you want to read more about how to join those empowering the Good News Generation in your community and your church take a look at book with a bit of a rude title: Live Like You Give A Damn! Join the Changemaking Generation.
I would value your feedback and your pushback to this unusual proposal for those who are empowering the Good News Generation as a new spiritual practice.
Tom Sine email@example.com
Feeling overwhelmed this holiday season? Make space for a moment of peace on December 3rd for Advent Quiet Day. Join Christine Sine for a morning of scripture reading and quiet reflection to pause and reflect during the busy Advent season. This retreat will be LIVE via zoom from 9:30 am PT to 12:30 pm PT. Click here for more details or to sign up!