I recently had the opportunity to attend a good conference at the Williamson Baptist Association office entitled, "Who Are The Millennial's? The seminar got me to thinking about the body of Christ and the generations that make up that body.
Right now, there are five active generations available to Christ to be His body to accomplish His mission. The G.I. Generation, those 85 and older. (They tell the best stories.) The Silent Generation, ages 68 to 84 and our "smallest" group with only 49 million. My generation, the Baby Boomers who are now ages 51 to 67. Those ages 33 to 50 called Gen-X or the Busters, who I believe get a bad rap at times. With the fifth group being the Millennials who range in age from 16 to 32, who happen to be the largest group todate. Such diversity not only in age, but experience, perspective and expectation.
I have to think this is by God's design, after reading 1 Corinthians 12:1-27. Chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians has yielded more than it's fair share of sermons on gifts, diversity and unity and those sermons are certainly all there. Yet, there is a larger concept that seems to develop that gives me great optimism when I think about a church full of such a diverse group of people moving forward and accomplishing Christ's mission.
1 Corinthians 12:4Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person. 7A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial:.. (HCSB) From a reading of this passage it would seem that all of this diversity and individuality under the triune God head can only produce "what is beneficial." This sounds like a win/win to me. Leadership by triune God coupled with the diversity of God redeemed creation produces something beneficial. Bank on it.
The example that is used is a body, full of life and energy. I Corinthians 12:12For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body — so also is Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14So the body is not one part but many. (HCSB) Imagine if rather than the sum of all your parts, if you were limited to just what you thought was your best feature. Absurd, I know. I fear that sometime we have a pretty good idea that our generation has finally got it right. Ops, I forgot God again and the wisdom of His diversity and focus.
The real ouch of this passage to me, when I think of the generations, approaches, desires is reflected in the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12: 24b and following. 24b.Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, 25so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. (HCSB) No division, but a concern for each other. What prevents us from being unified under the leadership of Christ to the point we are concerned to the point of action about those that our fellow body members are grieving over? In short your trying to fulfill the mission of Christ and reach your lost friend, am I hear to help you or force you to do it my way. Maybe my "superior" attitude keeps me from hearing the concerns of my fellow body parts (disciples). Please forgive me when that happens.
Verse 27 would remind us that we are the body of Christ, full of life and ready to accomplish something grand. The generations that now make up the body of Christ could be uniquely position to see the body of Christ expand as it has never expanded before. To reach a post modern culture that is becoming increasing divorced from the love of God with each passing generation.
It was a very interesting conference and I am working on a couple of blog post related to what I gleaned from the seminar. However, that is a post for another day. At least I have declared my bias upfront.
Hope you enjoyed my thoughts.