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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I listened to an interview with author Michael Adams about his new book "Stayin' Alive." He's taken a good look at what the Baby Boomer generation is doing to "redefine retirement." Very interesting. You can listen to the interview here if you like.

I've been thinking all day about the implications of his observations on the church and most particularly on our 2020 Vision Goals. Our first goal is to empower young adult leaders. And according to Carman we're beginning to do a pretty good job. Yes! We have young adults ready, willing and able to lead.

But, according to Adams, and my own observation and experience, we also have a whole bunch of active Baby Boomers not yet willing to step into the sunset, remove themselves to the rocking chair, settle into their slippers and retire. In fact, many of this generation are just now considering taking up a new challenge, moving more actively into leadership roles they may have had less time for in years past and are not quite so sure they want to hand off to someone else the church or the congregation they care passionately about.

If this is really the case, then we have a dilemma on our hands. What do you think?

Can we re-frame this picture into one of new hope and excitement for an amazing future? Can we create new partnerships and tap into the combined energies of these complementary generations?

What about a leadership team that capitalizes on the creativity, new ideas, technological savvy of one group and the extra time, experience and familiarity with such things as strategy, budgeting, management tools, established networks and drive to forge an even better future for beloved grandchildren? Can we create new images that combine the efforts of all the generations? Do we have to force one group into passive retirement while another group with just as many challenges (think multiple jobs, unstable economy, new relationships, debt, time pressures of new career, new families, etc. etc.) tries to pick up the reins of a congregation on top of it all?

Seems to me we just might have a marriage made in heaven if we can figure out a way to work together. One thing I noted with interest was Adams' use of the word "tribe" to describe the various different ways his boomers view retirement (or NOT). This is exactly the same word young adult pastor and author Carol Howard Merritt uses in her seminal book about Young Adults in church Tribal Church. Seems we're not so different after all. Now let's figure out a way to use the best each tribe has to offer and there'll be no stopping us!

Posted by Marion

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