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Reaching Gen-X and Millennials

Generation-X refers to those born between 1961 and 1981. There is no silver-bullet approach which will have Gen-Xers (or any other generation) flocking into a church. However, being aware of the changing cultural context can help. Below you will find notes from a presentation I gave for a gathering of clergy and laity in the Diocese of Georgia. The links at the bottom of the page will help you dig deeper on both the cultural context and how the church is responding. You will also find the sermon Thoroughly Postmodern Paul preached at King of Peace in 2002.

Postmodern Defined
"Postmodernism refers to the intellectual mood and cultural expressions that are becoming increasingly dominant in contemporary society. These expressions call into question the ideals, principles, and values that lay at the heart of the modern mind-set. Postmodernity, in turn, refers to the era in which we are living, the time when the postmodern outlook increasingly shapes our society. The adjective postmodern, then, refers to the mind-set and its products. These have been reflected in many of the traditional vehicles of cultural expression." —Stanley Grenz in A Primer on Postmodernism

Five Core Values of Postmodernism

  • Postmodernism is skeptical of certainty.
  • Postmodernism is sensitive to context.
  • Postmodernism leans toward the humorous.
  • Postmodernism highly values subjective experience.
  • For postmoderns, togetherness is a rare, precious, and elusive experience.

—from Brian McLaren’s The Church on the Other Side.

What can the church do?

  • We have to distinguish between genuine Christianity and our versions of it.
  • We need to see truth and goodness where they exist in postmodernism.
  • We need to be more experiential.
  • We need to be more relational, reasserting the value of community and
    rekindling the experience of it.
  • We need to use music, literature, drama, and other forms of art to
    communicate our message.

—also from Brian McLaren’s The Church on the Other Side.

Markers for Parish Life

—courtesy The Revs. Leslie Nipps and Rodney Hudgen

—relationships of honesty and experiences which support genuineness

Irreverence and Irony
—genuineness needs to be able to laugh at itself!

Skepticism of certainty and sensitivity to context
—Truth emerges from shared lived experience

Experience and Sensuality
—not interested in mere appeal to the intellect (although they want that, too)

—When difference comes together, the truth is revealed in more nuanced ways

The Culture is a Gift
—Institutions do not have a monopoly on truth and spiritedness; these qualities can be found throughout popular and high culture

Online Resources

Here are some online resources for those seeking to do ministry in a Postmodern context:

Connecting with Post-boomer Generations:

Gathering the Next Generation:


Leonard Sweet:

Emergent Village:

Emerging Church:

About Postmodernism:

Families matter at King of PeaceCommunity matters at King of PeaceKids matter at King of PeaceTeens @ King of PeaceInvestigate your spirituailty at King of PeaceContact King of Peace
Who are we?What are we doing?When does this happen?Where is King of Peace?Why King of Peace?How do we worship at King of Peace?

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King of Peace Episcopal Church + P.O. Box 2526 + Kingsland, Georgia 31548-2526