Builders, Silents, Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials, and Gen-Z: who are all these people, what do they want, and how can they form a congregational community that embodies unity yet does not demand uniformity? Licensed preacher Carroll Sheppard and Episcopal priest Nancy Dilliplane offer their experience and perspective on the dynamics of a six-generation population in congregations. The authors offer information, realism, and hope as they explain generational differences, needs, and desires, especially in relationship to congregational identity, purpose, and operation. Activities to help clergy and lay leaders appreciate generational differences are offered. To facilitate understanding, the authors recommend new roles for some congregants: “translators, bridges and peace makers.” Lastly, the authors give suggestions for attracting younger adults and give specific attention to worship and Christian formation. The multi-generation congregation is a reality for many traditions, and variety of congregations will benefit from the discussion, helps, and tools.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover