Description of Where have all the Young People Gone By R. Channing Johnson Today's younger and older folk have grown up in different worlds and are different people. Communications between generations is often painful. The older folk tend to be church people. Generations X and Y are t: perhaps 90 percent of them have written off Christianity as irrelevant. To explain what has happened, the first part of this book looks at our history since 1945. You may have lived through these events but will be surprised by the results. If you are younger, you'll see the events that have shaped you and most of your friends. All readers will see changes in family and community that have produced four different generations in America today. And you will become familiar with the distinct characteristics of each generation. Once you understand how we got the way we are, the book turns to what can we do about it. The distinctive learning style of Generations X and Y is to learn by their experiences and how they interpret them. Don't try to tell them what is right or truth. That shuts down communication. Rather, share the experiences that have shaped your life. For a Christian, that is the experiences by which the Lord has shaped you into a person of faith. It's t what you have done but what the Lord has done that is your story. Outreach by a greying congregation to young families and individuals may be far tougher. There is a table of 26 factors to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your congregation. Then there is the missionary problem. The foreign missionary has to learn a new language and get used to a new culture. Can your congregation make the adaptive changes required to speak and live the Gospel in order to welcome a people of the culture of Generations X and Y into your midst? In offering the Gospel to an alienated generation, you yourselves will be changed. Is that too frightening? Are you willing?
The Author R. Channing Johnson The author has spent most of the past 30 years employed as a PhD scientist and donating his time as an Episcopal clergyman to congregations with special needs. In both roles he has worked with, taught and mentored young people. As a pastor, he understands the alienation of younger people from Christianity, particularly in mainline congregations. As a PhD scientist he is familiar with the data that shows the increasing alienation, especially among youth under 30 years old. The author uses his skills as a PhD scientist to trace the changes in American family and communities that has left us with four generations that are so different that civilized discussions are difficult. His skills as a pastor allow him to present this story of differences in laymen's language. Few easy-to-read books document what has happened and describe the differences in culture between the four generations. The author then turns from how we got into the mess we're in to what we can do about it. He uses his pastoral experience of training young adult to challenge you to learn to tell and share your story. This story is not an account of what you have done but of how the Lord has touched your life and brought you to faith. The book will walk you through New Testament experiences of people who met Jesus and help you identify where your experiences have been similar. The language of sharing the story of experiences is powerful in reaching Generations X and Y because personal experiences and interpretation is the basic way these generations learn and build their worldviews. The author will also share with you his experience with aging congregations that seek to reach out to young people . It may be trickier than you think because it may require changes and loving provisions for people that find change too hard to take. It may be difficult but entirely possible for people who want to share the Gospel of God's unearned love.