hyperlink: an e-merging church ministry project

Developing Effective Teamwork Among Select Members of a Local Church by Focusing Upon Their Church Website for Forty Days

The abstract will be written last (after I've located everything else I wanted to include) and then cut out everything that doesn't flow.


THEOLOGICAL RATIONALE What had formerly been a secret was published across time and space and is still working its mysterious power . .
               prospectus: work-in-progress 

Since the day of Pentecost the ministry of Jesus has been entrusted to individuals he has called to be His witnesses. Every localized fellowship of His witnesses have an unseen potential to testify more effectively if they will work together and share a common theology. The theological rationale for this project is first grounded in the Scriptures and then supported by small, yet significant, samplings from history.
Church History is simply the subjective retelling of spiritual stories involving real people, places, and events. Therefore, I have invested accounts of relatively recent stories in the historical record with utmost confidence that each one is equally significant for the work ahead of us. This work of developing an effective team to strengthen our website is an opportunity to glorify God as reproductive witnesses in our generation.

Three beliefs interact to form the theological foundation for theoretical methodology and practical ministry during the process of completing this doctoral project.

First, members of our church are being called by God to testify.
Called to Testify

Second, our perception of time impacts our willingness to testify.
Sent in Time

Third, God has given His teachers generation-specific tools to empower His people to fulfill this calling.
Empowered by Teachers

As the Director of this project, I will continually reference this three-fold theological foundation to bring biblical perspective to any unexpected circumstances which may occur during the implementation, evaluation, and reporting of the project.

God Has Called Us to Testify

Until I was exposed to the post-mortem publications of Keith Green, I thought that “Go and make disciples of all nations” was intended only for those present on the day those words were first spoken. Keith’s simple tract, “Why You Should Go to the Mission Field” challenged my willingness to continue living out a normal, middle-class, American Christian life.

If you had 20 children to feed and plenty of food to feed them all with, do you think it would be right to give 3 of the children 10 meals, 7 children only 1 meal, and the remaining nothing - causing them to die of starvation? That's exactly what we're doing with the Gospel in the world today!
As the father of all nations, God seeks the redemption of people from every tribe and tongue. He has chosen to entrust us with the monumental breadth and depth of this daunting assignment. Empowerment to testify effectively is built upon a mutual trust. God entrusts the transmission of His Message to His Church as we trust Him to lead us in the right direction. In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells his disciples that they will receive power to be His witnesses. The word ‘witness’ (marturion) is a subjective term having to do especially with one’s personal experience.  God empowers his maturing children for the subjective task of bearing a true testimony. As His children struggle with complex issues of life there will be many opportunities for teachable moments. Any resultant conviction is given as a gift for future investment.

Countless Spirit-empowered testimonies recorded both in the New Testament and in the annals of Church History, support four convictions:

a) Our testimony should be a truthfully personal story of salvation,
b) Sharing our testimony is risky business,
c) Our testimony has the power to inspire Christians to give, and
d) Our testimony has the power to nurture and challenge Christians to grow.

A truthfully personal testimony could certainly be distilled to the simple sharing of a short story about one's life before knowing Christ, how one came to know Christ, and finally something about one's current life in Christ. There have been many programs written and booklets published about this form of sharing one’s personal testimony. Simple, three point testimonies are certainly effective, but doesn't God call for something more from his witnesses as they mature in Christ?

Before sharing a testimony in a court of law, it has been customary to swear an oath “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Having been preserved for several generations, the writings of John Wesley remind us that one’s testimony involves more than one’s words: “Ye shall be empowered to witness my Gospel, both by your preaching and suffering.”  This fellowship of suffering with Christ is an important aspect of truthfully sharing one’s testimony. Our current website witnesses have each experienced a deeply personal relationship with Jesus uniquely empowered through suffering.

Knowing Jesus as the Truth sets people free from all manner of delusion and deception. In John 15:26, Jesus teaches that the spirit of truth (pneuma tas alatheias) proceeds from the Father and that “He will testify (marturasei) about me” and that “you (all of you) testify (umeis de martureite) because you have been with Me from the beginning.” To be a witness is to share one’s personal relationship in the power of his spirit—truthfully. As we affirm that Truth is a Person, we will tell of his suffering for us and testify of his suffering with us. Regular, ongoing publication of our website witnesses allow for the painfully honest revelation of real life in Christ—not shying away from the testimony that comes with suffering.

The call to testify should involve a growing familiarity with salvation history and a willingness to cross all barriers to tell that gospel story. Responding to his rooftop vision and empowered by the Spirit, Peter yielded his own will and left the comfort zone of his upbringing to testify about the gospel story to a formerly unclean people group:

We are witnesses (marturion) of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses (martursin) who were chosen beforehand by God, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And he ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify (diamarturasai). (Acts 10:39-42)

Sharing Our Testimony is Risky Business

In addition to his own spoken testimony, Paul’s witness was preserved and referenced by others (Acts 9, 22, 26). Paul also shared a deeper testimony through the writing of letters to individuals and to clusters of believers. Likewise, website team members have been encouraged to share their life in Christ with one others through regular publication of letters and stories. Matters of personal boundaries, privacy issues, and the unique platform provided by the Internet for sharing day-to-day life need to be addressed.  Paul’s methodology will be examined as we seek to employ aspects of his published testimony.

In his epistle to the Philippians, Paul’s encourages others to follow his life’s example. “Whatever (tauta) you have learned (emathete), and received (parelabete), and have heard (akousate) and seen (eidete), put it into practice…”  Paul expected his readers to have learned, received, heard, and seen a body of teaching worthy of replication and daily practice. He entertained great expectations for those in his sphere of influence—especially considering the fallible source from whom they were to have learned all this. Himself.

Although the writing members of our team would probably refrain from such boldness, Paul’s expectations serve as a model for what is possible when one’s life is being ‘read’ by others. The relationship between a Christian journalist and her reader is worth our exploration. A publishing Christian has a forum through which important lessons learned can be passed on for the good of mankind. Offering a God-centered view of circumstances, Paul testifies about a very personal secret he had learned.

Noteworthy in this testimony, is the suspense built by the use of a word with a history (memuvhmai). “I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.”( ego gar emathon en ois eimi autarkas einai) The pronoun ego; (“I”) is used “emphatically: ‘whether or not others have learned, I have.’”  Paul vividly describes the polar extremes of life situations which he has experienced. He knows how to be humbled and he knows how to deal with windfall prosperity.

Paul’s choice of words engages the reader to pay close attention. A secret has been made known to Paul. The word memuamai (“I have learned the secret”) has been borrowed from the mystery religions. It was used to refer to initiation rites. 

His testimony consistently directs attention to Christ as the One who empowers the believer. By referencing the dichotomies of chortazesthai (“well-fed”) and peinan (“going hungry”) along with perisseuein (“abounding”) and ustereisthai (“lacking”), Paul reiterates the profound value of the secret. The secret he has learned has equipped him to accept changing circumstances in his life (and, in testifying, his hope of helping others is obvious). What had formerly been a secret was published across time and space and is still working its mysterious power as disciples react to this portion of Paul’s testimony.

The willingness to publish his personal testimonies made Paul vulnerable to challenges by his readers (even accusers and enemies). In subsequent generations, other publishers of personal testimony have faced this dynamic form of theological and methodological debate. It will continue to be important for our team members to consider Paul’s perspective when their witness is tested: “But I do not consider my life as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly (diamarturasthai) of the gospel of the grace of God.”


Our Testimony Has Power to Inspire Others to Give

Team members also enter this project with the understanding that Paul’s writings have set precedent for making known those good works being done by Christians in other settings. By publishing stories, photos, and video clips in humble celebration of other places wherein God is at work, we hope to spur on other churches to greater works.

Now brothers, we make known (gnorizo) to you the grace of God (charin tou theou) which has been given in the churches of Macedonia that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability (para dunamin), and beyond their ability, of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor (charis) of participation (koinonian) in the support of the saints, and not as we had expected (elpizo), but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will (thelema) of God.

According to their abilities (and even beyond), the grace-participation of the Macedonian churches must have seemed newsworthy to Paul. He linked this human interest story to an appeal aimed at his Corinthian readers to also give. Likewise, if contemporary stories of self-sacrifice are not shown and told, we miss the opportunity to see God spread the good news of liberal giving. It seems theologically sound that our local church should publish stories of God’s grace in what we have learned, heard, seen, and received from others.

more from church history here...


Our Testimony Has Power to Nurture and Challenge Christians to Grow

In the eighteenth century, John Wesley developed his theology in the midst of the concerns and needs of the people around him. His educational accomplishments and cultural sophistication did not keep him from reaching across economic barriers with the Word of God. Looking upon 'all the world as his parish', he worked toward reproducing other ministers with the same mindset. His theology led him to organize, to train, and to send out others to testify for Christ.

In subsequent centuries, countless numbers of growing Christians have grown in their own spiritual formation by reading over the shoulder of the disciplined journalist.

Covering a fifty-five year span of his life (from 1735-1790), the entries afforded the writer an opportunity to rehearse life's events while listening for divine direction.  This written testimony was published in stages. Published in stages, his second extract has ever since allowed the reader to hear his innermost thoughts from May 24, 1738: 

"In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans.  About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sin, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death." 

Upon publication of the first edition, Wesley was convinced that he hadn't even been a Christian during his time in Georgia (and  up to that night at Aldersgate). In later editions of the first extract (1774 and 1775), Wesley adds footnotes wherein he rethinks his testimony and the timing of God's activity in his heart and mind. Journaling allows the witness and subsequent readers to travel back into time. An intentional trip through the pages of the ages might result in theological reflection for the TimeTraveler.

As 21st Century students of Church History, we can visit primary sources unavailable to us even a decade ago.

Thursday, 25.—The moment I awakened, “Jesus, Master,” was in my heart and in my mouth;
  Those who are still reading hisbegan with an entry written on October, 14, 1735 and concludes in January, 1738. Sunday, October 24, 1790

Included with that publication was a letter. That particular extract of his written testimony ends in January of 1738 upon his return from Georgia. However,

 later editions (1774 and 1775) of the first Journal extract

Journal entries

Written testimonies should bring encouragement as the reader is challenged to see a picture of God’s faithfulness. However, Paul also testified in order to offer correction for error. Opposing legalism of all sorts, Paul’s publications regularly remind his readers that transformation through responding to the gospel leads to freedom.

Christians sometimes stray from a mindset of unified joy (with Christ and with one another). As a witness shares a testimony of relational health, there ought to be a vision for strayed Christians to return. In Philippians 3:1, Paul instructs his brothers and sisters to rejoice in the Lord (chairete en kurio). In this correction-oriented testimony, Paul refers to his own Christ-centered joy,  (echaran de en kurio), while emphasizing the “depth of his rejoicing” by qualifying  echaran  with the adverb megalos (“greatly, immensely”). 

In Philippi were two women who had previously ministered with effectiveness alongside Paul. His mention of Euodia and Syntyche points to a fragmentation of integrity in their fellowship.  He recommends that these two co-laborers return to a point of agreement: the same mind in the Lord. Paul’s theology involves an intentional return to past memories of fruitful labor. Whatever the circumstances which led to this corporate (and distressingly personal) disintegration, Paul reminded them of the need to trust God for the next step that needs to be taken.        

more here...

Having considered this four-fold rationale for sharing our testimony members of our church should be offered an opportunity to meditate upon the impact of TIME and our willingness to testify.    Sent in Time


The Limitations of Time Intensifies the Importance of Our Testimony

In the fast-paced context of our generation, it is sometimes difficult to engage church members in ministry action. In March of 2004, God added another component to my theology as I watched members of our local church gather around a ministry begun one woman's desperate petition. She had been told by her doctor that she had six months to live.

In her early 70's, this vibrant sister called upon the elders of the church to pray for her. She also asked if the preachers among us would testify about God’s Word on healing. Widespread involvement with this sister’s specific request was the impetus for a season of fasting, prayer, and the development of a theology of suffering and healing.

Partnerships developed between those who fasted simultaneously. Those who attended nightly services gathered around one another in their seats or at the altar to pray. These partnerships between local church members were established during a time of seeking God together. Healings occurred in the lives of several people even though the initiator was called home. 

In the introduction to his letter, Paul refers to praying with joy at the thought of the Philippians’ partnership in the gospel. This koinonia partnership had been revived because of a recent benevolent gesture they had made toward him. Paul writes that they had done well “sharing in his trouble.” They had joined him as 'partners' (sugkoinonein)--'partners in trouble' (thlipsei). Thus, Paul's thank you letter connects this small gesture with all the hardships, afflictions, and burdens of  his life and ministry. 

During recent years, several other key members in our church have died. Of some it was commonly perceived that they were ‘too young to die.’ Within this context, many in our fellowship have grown to respect the value of time. When a trained physician estimates a limited time frame priorities are affected. A God-centered perspective of time is crucial in helping partners-in-trouble to accept suffering as a meaningful witness for Christ.

This psalm of Moses emphasizes a worthy response to the awareness of one’s inevitable death—the establishment of one’s labor. “The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength; teach us to number our days aright. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.”  Given that a significant number of our current members are already in their mid-seventies, it seems wise to prepare our church with more opportunities to partner together and to make the most out of this season’s challenges.


A God-Centered View of Time Brings Perspective to Those who will Testify

I would have continued to think that the concept of TimeTravel was simply a game of make-believe . However, when I began to read the Bible, I was challenged to believe--not just 'make-believe.'

It wasn't in the imaginitive realm of books, movies, television, and comics that I first heard these words:

"Before Abraham was born I Am." 

Of course, this can't be in the paper but it has everything to do with this theology...

Although a grammar check of this theology may suggest a different wording, the apparent inconsistency in tense was purposeful. "This is my name forever—the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation." Although certain cultures may have preferred to receive a systematic theology, Jesus was a narrative theologian. His eternal perspective is best heard by one who will become a timetraveler and sit at his feet. The TimeTraveler will continue to tell his special stories to "those who have ears to hear and eyes to see."

Unlike the particular audience who first heard the strange sentence, I had no reason to be angry with Jesus. I was pleasantly surprised to learn more of his transcendent proclamation. Sunday School teachers can tell little boys about God, heaven, and hell, but to actually read the words of Jesus from the Bible convinced me of this theology: Jesus was, is, and evermore shall be outside of time.

I didn't understand this theology of transcendence as a little boy. My small assignment was to behave myself every Sunday in the pew next to my mother. Every Sunday that congregation turned to the first hymn in the book and sang about this theology. Mother died when I was five but her faithful testimony makes perfect sense to me now. She witnessed through her discipline and willingness to sing her theology. As one who watched her witness, I have the ability to travel back in time to those moments of childhood awe. Perspective is brought to a life of mourning by faith in One who who 'wert, art, and evermore shall be.'

Through John the revelator we have heard this report: Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Root of Jesse and the Offspring of David. Little Baby Jesus is the Ancient of Days. (white hair). The TimeTraveler is on the scene writing in the sand and looking into my eyes.

He's right there looking at me when the rooster has crowed his final exclamation. He walks on the water of time and reaches out for me to take his eternal hand. He is not a new age guru. He is the Writer and Publisher of the whole story.

Life's deepest misunderstandings comes from a focus on only one aspect of time. Some are future-oriented witnesses who seem to only talk about tomorrow. Powerful sermon-series are planned (months in advance) and preached about staying here and working a five-year plan to build bigger barns and store up ever-increasing collections.

Some witnesses live in the past. Since everyone in the congregation is nearing or have passed the days of a man's life most of the songs are the good, old songs that were sung at Grandma's funeral. The glory days of yesteryear are preached loudly to nodding heads in sparsely-populated pews. This and that happened. Especially important was this--so they preach it one more time or sing another stanza from yesteryear's songbook.

At the end of that long testimony (sermon), some of the nodding people simply say 'Amen' (before they leave for the restaurant). The other nodding people simply rub their eyes while rehearsing the dream they were just having.

During the days that followed my acceptance of Jesus as Lord, I sat under the practical theology of Ezell Plair. He was truly a working-class theologian. Long, hard hours at a paper mill supplemented the provision given by our small church. Since he did not have much time left outside of work, he asked members of his congregation to fast on Tuesdays and Fridays and to specifically pray for him. Small in number, our gatherings were always powerful. Our preacher was energized with the knowledge that his flock had chosen to fast toward the future. We had purposed to fast, to pray, and to come to the house of the Lord expecting to hear God speak through our pastor's messages.

My church experiences were being connected to my workspace experiences through these regular times of fasting.During those days, I worked part-time as a cook in a group home. This position allowed me to regularly listen to a local Christian radio station. Imagine fasting while you're preparing food all day long. The growling of my stomach amid the distinct aroma of a simmering meal served as the backdrop for the half-hour teachings which aired on the radio each day.

One of those contemporary Christian witnesses was Chuck Swindoll. I accepted Swindoll's ongoing radio teaching as a practical gift from God. He admonished his listening audience to augment our study of the Bible with the study of church history. He specifically suggested the reading of Christian biographies and journals. Based solely on my affinity toward his daily messages, I adhered to Swindoll's taped counsel and went to the library looking for other books to supplement the Bible as I worked out my own study of God.

My local library had several rows of shelves in the religion section. On those shelves were books written by and about men whose lives and doctrines could have disoriented and seriously harmed my development as a disciple. Fortunately, Swindoll had named certain individuals from the theological stream of Church History (Augustine, Luther, Wycliffe, Wesley, Whitefield, and others). Fortunately, I chose to submit to his 'authority' as a teacher. The books that I borrowed to read profoundly shaped my theology and subsequent decisions about how best to be a Christian witness in my generation.

Therefore, I have purposed that my influence over others should never fail to reflect Pastor Plair's working-world theology. As I continue to make decisions about how best to invest myself, I witness to others about what has worked well for me. It is my conviction that I should do for others what my Mother, Ezell Plair, and Chuck Swindoll did for me. The competent investment of their time continues to ...

That church's ministry of taping Sunday services, editing them into shorter daily excerpts with choice sound bites, and mixed with music.

I tell you the truth: “Before Abraham was born I am.”

I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
Iif anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.

I am the Light of the World
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

I am the Gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved.

I am the Good Shepherd.
I know my sheep and my sheep know me

I am the Resurrection and the Life.
He who believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
         (The pslamist sings: You are my Resurrection and My Life)

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.

I am the Vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit.
Apart from me you can do nothing.

In the beginning was the Word.
I am the Alpha and the Omega. (Revelation)

The effective transmission of our church's testimony over time will be significantly impacted by our acceptance of tools, technology, and techniques employed by our teachers.

Empowered by Teachers

God Has Given Teachers to Empower His Witnesses

Gamaliel, Barnabas, Jesus (these things I received from the Lord) had been useful instruments in to impart teaching/wisdom to Paul, he chooses to pass on the proper use of tools to others.
The primary goal of Paul’s letter to the Philippians was his grateful acknowledgement of a gift sent him through Epaphroditus.  However, Paul also sought to effect positive change in the lives of the recipients as they read his thank-you note. In the middle of this recognition for their generosity, Paul shares a truth which has the potential to lead them to personal and corporate integrity: God can be trusted.

During my full eight years at fbcgalt, I have taught several basic theological convictions. These convictions come from a study of the Bible, from an acquaintance with the ministries of several key historical figures, and from a simple day-to-day conversation with the Holy Spirit. The most rewarding aspect of ministry has been when I have heard someone say: "I like the way you preach."

We are all belong to one body. The ear cannot say to the eye I have no need of you. Teachers of many different personality types, ages, backgrounds, and interests are regularly given to the church. This project affirms that God-given diversity is important for moving ahead with Him into the 21st Century. 

Edward D. Kimball had been the Sunday School teacher who went on a mission to the shoe store seeking out an 18 year old boy who had been coming to his class:  Condense this story of Moody: 

Many years afterward Mr. Moody himself told the story of that day. When I was in Boston," he said, "I used to attend a Sunday school class, and one clay I recollect my teacher came around behind the counter of the shop I was at work in, and put his hand upon my shoulder, and talked to me about Christ and my soul. I had not felt that I had a soul till then. I said to myself This is a very strange thing. Here is a man who never saw me till lately, and he is weeping over my sins, and I never shed a tear about them.' But I understand it now, and know what it is to have a passion for men's souls and weep over their sins. I don't remember what he said, but I can feel the power of that man's hand on my shoulder to-night. it was not long after that I was brought into the Kingdom of God.'

"Well, let's just say....he's kinda different. Who among us is like the 18 year old Dwight? I'm thinkin' Roy Kelley...

Shortly after his arrival in Chicago, Mr. Moody united by letter with the Plymouth Congregational Church, of which Dr. J. E. Roy was at that time pastor. It was a hospitable church, and Mr. Moody was not slow to find an opportunity to exercise his desire to do practical Christian work. He rented five pews and kept them filled with young men at every service. He also went out and hunted up boys and girls for the Sunday school....
It seemed as if no church could give him enough to do; therefore he began to attend a Sunday morning class in the First Methodist Church, and to work with its Mission Band, which was composed of a number of devoted young men, who every Sunday morning used to visit various public places and invite strangers to attend church services. It will be seen that Mr. Moody's Christian work was purely practical. This was a characteristic determined by his temperament. Theorizing had no place in his energetic mind, but his whole heart was bent to secure the best results from the means at hand and when means were lacking to find them. ...
It was not long after he came to Chicago that he began to work among the children. His success in recruiting for the Sunday schools was wonderful. On one occasion he found a little mission Sunday school on the North side, and offered to take a class. The superintendent pointed out that they already had almost as many teachers as pupils, but added that, if Mr. Moody would get his own pupils, he would be at liberty to conduct a class. The next Sunday Mr. Moody appeared with eighteen ragamuffins. They were dirty, unkempt, many of them barefoot, but as the young teacher said, "each had a soul to save".

A church website provides an accessible record of important stories and theological teachings for recalling, referencing and reinforcing. 

Our healing service of one year ago, used wonderfully in the moment, continues to minister a year later, having been recorded, edited and easily accessed from the website.  This particular ministry (the healing service) tied four people together, including two from outside our membership.  These two "outsiders" are permanently associated with fbcgalt via the website, as are numerous others from Michigan to Liberia, Estonia to Singapore.


God Empowers His Teachers with Tools, Technology, and Techniques

This page won't look this way tomorrow...or the next day....or the next: I'm sorting material...

Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God." William Carey

"To whom much is given, much is required."  Jesus

Members of our team already believe that our church website has great potential to further the cause of Christ in this generation. Our tracking software permits us to see that people are visiting our website all hours of the day and night, every day of the week. The pursuit of this project is consistent with our conviction that God would have us fully invest these generation-specific tools to empower others to be imaginative, creative and prayerfully expectatant.

During the forty days of intensified focus, we will clarify our expectations for the possible outcome.

Sound theological doctrine is the underpinning of the website. The website is a practical way to take the theological convictions developed over the past eight years and make them available and relevant to our church body and others, beyond Sundays, and beyond a single weekly sermon.   

Real cross-generational (and cross-cultural) relationships can bring healthy accountability to our local church. Discontentment and discouragement are commonplace attitudes in this generation—even in the church. The materialism of recent decades has caused many people to assume that attainment and self-worth can somehow be measured by the accumulation of possessions. Like their unbelieving neighbors, members of First Baptist Church of Galt will sometimes be led astray by the poets, prophets, preachers, and teachers of our consumer-society.  Bigger buildings, growing budgets, and a plethora of trendy programs may be misinterpreted as successful ministries.

The scriptures teach that the acquisition of consumer goods and pleasantries does not guarantee happiness. A lasting sense of security cannot be based upon our own accomplishments. Our cross-generational church is in a unique situation to plant seeds toward real contentment while reaping a harvest of the same.

Locate materials for these precedents (Teachers,Technology, Tools, Techniques):


Jesus on the boat pushed out from shore to teach (dramatic)
Jesus on the mount (informal, relaxed)
memorable slogans: The First and Greatest Commandment, Seek ye First, I AM sayings.
Stories (The Prodigal Son, The Sower and the Seed,
Peter on Pentecost (spontaneous proclamation)
Paul at the Areogopas (seeker-friendly oratory; walked the beat, knows the lyrics)

Technology for Transmission of Message:

Jesus: carried on foot in realtime. His teachings were orally transmitted by eye witnesses, written by journalists, and copied by scribes. 

He took the scroll and opened it...

citing known writings: "It is written..."

The Septuagint

Paul's use of the Septuagint in Greek settings. Paul traveled his world on the Roman Roads network. The speed of first-century technology (toward Damacus); on sea-faring vessels toward Cyprus, Macedonia, and Malta.

Circular letters in the New Testament

Augustine's Confessions; Oswald Chambers' Devotional; Keith Green's Newsletter, Albums, and Mailing List; D.L. Moody's walks around town; J. Vernon McGee's Radio Show.

Everything that has gone on before, current state-of-the-art, and a willingness to travel

Show and Tell on Sunday Mornings at Church

Every Sunday for over fifty years a group of people have gathered in a small, Northern Calfornia town for an event called church. First Baptist Church was sponsored as a new church plant by Southern Baptists in nearby Lodi--Lodi Avenue Baptist Church. Gatherings started taking place at the Jaycee Hall...(insert details from extant writings). I came to Galt as the 27th..or whatever...pastor...in the continuum...

In the Chronicles covering the time of Jehoshophat's reign, the king received news that three armies had joined forces and are marching upon the capital. The king called a solemn assembly; the people fasted and prayed.

It is my intent to show and tell others about three areas of concern which are marching forth upon us. Although they are not necessarily perceived as a threat, I feel that my future leadership of this 'nation' depends upon a prayerful strategy for facing tomorrow.

This project will involve the exploration of these three important areas of ministerial impact 1) Generational Distinctives, 2) Relational Connections, and 3) Technological Innovations.

I hope to learn more about each area by purposefully synthesizing one with another, then colliding that resultant thesis with the other. Finally, a question should be asked of the Lord (prayer): "Lord, we don't know what to do but our eyes are upon you."

Generational Distinctions: One of the methods for discussing an aspect of American culture is to identify the biological age groups. Theoretical conceptualization has already been established by government, business, and ecclesiastical research such that an exploration of the theories will already produce a popular notion. Contemporary American society is divided into four generations.

Relational Connections: The proliferation of small groups usually have to do with shared concerns. A successful strategy for building the strength of a church is through affinity groups. It is natural for a Baptist Church to have a Bible study and discussion as the focus of such groups, an in-depth grasp of the Scriptures is not the primary area of growth that occurs.

Technological Innovations: As she was parenting in the pew, my mother allowed for use of the little pencils to draw or write during most components of the Sunday morning ritual. Today, parents (and onlookers) are being asked to consider if 'text-messaging' can be loosed on earth as it is in heaven.

Exploring future possibilities for (integrating) building contextual bridges across these three areas of post-modern concern should result in more informed, intentional avenues of ministry.

As the key leader for the church, my best offer of a model for leadership is to call the people together (across the generations) in a solemn assembly. I look heavenward and with humble confidence repeat Jehoshophat's prayer:  "Lord, we don't know what to do....but our eyes are upon you."

extra sentence to use somewhere...In business, successful strategic marketing of a product, personality, or service has always relied upon an understanding of the audience, consumer, or recipient. Churches (healthy and unhealthy) have regularly applied similar principles.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Traveling through time as Christians has widespread appeal:

I will articulate

The BEST of:

HOWEVER, it is important for Project Team Members to also intentionally integrate an informed awareness of the WORST of times.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Traveling through time as Christians definitely has a downside.

I will reference the risks we face.

The WORST of:

Integrating the Best Possible Scenario with the Worst Imagineable (well, I don't know if we really want to imagine everything that could go wrong),

the somewhat-informed Project Director intentionally leads our fearless team
 into the Project Plans, Procedure, and Methods.

We will link ourselves to the entire church
     through the exploration of: Generational Distinctions,

                                                Relational Connections,

                                             and Technological Innovations

TimeTravel and the Sacred     (...or TimeTravel and the Word)

This project component will involve samplings from church members of various generations about their childhood favorites: Memory Verses, Church Music, Bible Characters, and Church Heroes.

These samplings will be discussed and used in brainstorming session as part of the Team Project.


TimeTravel and the Secular   (...or TimeTravel and the World)

This project component will involve samplings from church members of various generations about their childhood favorites: movies, music, celebrities, heroes.

These samplings will be discussed and used in brainstorming session as part of the Team Project.


TimeTravel and Your Church History

This project component will involve samplings from church members of various generations about their personalized understanding of Church History:

1) Your Church Past (from Pentecost through the Day of Salvation) 
2) Your Church Present (from the Glory Days to Today)
3) Your Church Future (from fbcgalt Today....what next?)

These samplings will be discussed and used in brainstorming session as part of the Team Project.


TimeTravel and Your Family History

This project component will involve samplings from church members of various generations about their  Family Roots, Family of Origin, and Plan for Personal Legacy.

These samplings will be discussed and used in brainstorming session as part of the Team Project.

This project component will involve samplings from church members of various generations about their personalized understanding of Church History:

1) Your Church Past (from Pentecost through the Day of Salvation) 
2) Your Church Present (from the Glory Days to Today)
3) Your Church Future (from fbcgalt Today....what next?)

These samplings will be discussed and used in brainstorming session as part of the Team Project.

Models for Building Bridges in Relationships

When Two Planets or Four Animals aren't Enough:

A Presentation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
      for Strengthening our Team Relationships

Patterson's Model for Human Relationships

Other models in the world around us:

1.  The Signs of the Zodiac
2.  The 12-Year Cycle on Chinese Food Placemats
3.  Myspace.com and the Selection of Sexual Orientation

Local Relationships

From the Epicenter to the Uttermost Ends of Galt

Members of our local church will be surveyed for ideas about how we might best connect their Family, Friends, Co-Workers, and Neighbors to the ministry of fbcgalt. These ideas will be the focus of a brainstorming session by the Project Team for connectivity to the church website.

One-Way Relationships

This component will focus on the metaphor of 'My Message in a Bottle' thrown into the Cyberspace. These days will serve as the devotional, prayerful season of the Project. 

Church members will be asked to join Team Members in making a commitment to fast, pray, and to watch along with us as we launch each others' messages into the depth of the Unseen.

Regional, National, and International Relationships

Moving into hyperlink (Phase 3):  Examples from Phase 1 (1999 through September, 2004) and statistics from Phase 2 of pastorob.com (October, 2004 to the beginning of hyperlink) will be the focus of a brainstorming session.

How can we invest ourselves in the greater harvest by empowering other churches with what we have learned during Phase 1 and Phase 2



Historical Progression: Visual Transmission by cave-drawings, written language, original autographs and copies, the Gutenburg Press, Photography, Moving Pictures, Television, Cable, Satellite, and the Internet. 

What could possibly be next?

Should the local church stop or move along with technology? 

Phase Three: High-Speed Transitioning and the future of Image files, Video clips, Text, Fonts, and Color


Historical Progression: Oral Transmission by spoken language, the campfire and bedtime stories, fables, myths, and parables. Tom Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, The Talkies, Television, 
Cell Phones, and the Internet. 

What could possibly be next?

Should the local church stop or move along with technology? 

Phase Three: High-Speed Transitioning and the future of Audio files.


Historical Progression: the message of the medium. Biblical characters piled stones as a memorial.
God has placed 'signs' in nature, in relationships, and directed in the model of the Tabernacle and the Temple.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob built altars to acknowlege God's revelation.

Moses instituted the passover help God's People remember.

Joshua piled stones to cause the children to ask questions.

Jesus used symbolism in his parables and teachings.

Should the local church stop or continue to seek the Lord for Signs to share with others? 

Phase Three: Appreciating Symbolism in Poetry, Songs, Images, Videos, Journal Entries, Reports, Clip Art, and Baby Dedications, Rites of Passage, Baptisms, Weddings, Renewals, and Funerals Services. How do we connect these symbols in the High Speed, Fully-Connected 21st Century?

How about a Sabbatical from all things High-Speed?   Be Still and Know that I am God.

note to participants: remember this is my doctoral work in progress; any suggestions from you are welcome. I'm just looking these over and contemplating their relative worth.

Objectives for Team Members

1. SKILL: That each team member would become proficient in editing and 
                 uploading their own webpage.

2. COGNITIVE: That each team member would gain a basic understanding of
                           four generations which make up fbcgalt.

3. AFFECTIVE: That each team member would seek to empower other
                           church members to strengthen the testimony of our church.

Objectives for Project Director

1. AFFECTIVE: I will articulate a personal Theology of Integrity from
                                which I will draw motivation to be a fervent witness
                                during the rest of my days.

          Evidence: Publication with footnotes from relevant journal entries.

2. COGNITIVE: I will be better prepared to offer passionate leadership 
                 for an emerging missional church in the 21st Century.

          Evidence: Compilation of devotionals and illustrations drawn from papers, 
                              sermons, and journals entries of my six-year doctoral preparation.



Elders and Builders Generations

One in every eight people
in our country is sixty-five years of age or older (Elders), and the fastest growing segment of the population is among persons eighty-five or older (Builders).

These generations have much in common. Their characteristics are similar. They are nationalistic and value economic security and strong family relationships. They approach issues with purpose and are not excited about change. They advocate hard work, commitment, and diligence and most view technology as a nuisance. Members of these generations tend to be loyal and accept authority.

Elders and Builders value family and appreciate institutions. The faith of choice of both groups is Christianity. They favor absolutes, approach problems linearly, and make plans and stick to them. The favored leadership style of these two generations is authoritative.7

Elders and Builders have similar needs. They have been referred to as the “Silent” generation and the “Get It Done” generation respectively.8 These generations, as with other generations, have the basic needs for love, acceptance, meaning or purpose, relationships, and understanding. In addition to these basic needs, or to meet these basic needs where the persons are in their journey, they are more comfortable with activities that are structured and have purpose.

Seventy-five percent of the nation’s wealth is in their hands, and they like to give generously to the church and charities. They are disciplined, so they need to have places of service. Because of their need for relationships, they usually prefer small churches.

Elders and Builders need to feel that they still matter. I shall never forget a small Methodist church family in Alabama who ministered to my father as he struggled with the decline of aging and the battle with lung cancer for two years. They visited, called, sent cards, ministered to the family, and continued to keep him informed although he was homebound. What a way to minister to a generation to whom we owe so much!

Becoming Family — Understanding Each Other
Jeanine Bozeman is professor of social work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Baby Boomer Generation

The Baby Boomer generation, persons born between 1946 and 1964, altered fundamental assumptions of behavior of the Elder and Builders generations. With this generation came a shift in attitudes, values, and beliefs. Boomers are different in characteristics and express their needs in ways that are different from the previous generations.

Boomers are characterized as individualistic, dominant, and mastering everything they touch. Their idea of success includes not only acquisition of wealth but attainment of emotional and psychological happiness. They seem to fear powerlessness and are concerned primarily with their own comfort and powers. They have been characterized as the “Me” generation.

Boomers favor change if it promotes their goals, and they evaluate issues by considering the outcomes. Education is important to this generation, and they consider size of office, perks, and access to power as significant employment issues.

They desire to be in authority. Boomers will battle for progress and supremacy because they believe in themselves. They factor facts and want to be on the cutting edge. In leadership, they favor a person who is a driver.9

For the Boomers, retirement will acquire a new negative meaning. The goal will not be to retire, but to replenish or reflect or pray.10 Boomers have been characterized as rebellious, affluent, and independent. They are the most educated generation and tend to be activists.

Their descriptive name is “challengers.” They are cause oriented and presently set the agenda for the nation. Their interpersonal relationships tend to be weak, but they favor people over programs. Boomers tend to be down-to-earth and experience oriented.

The worship Boomers favor is celebrative. They want multiple options in studies and stress lifestyle evangelism. Boomers are a spiritually searching generation.11  This generation does not want to follow the company format but wants meetings so they can express themselves fully. They do not see themselves as rule-bound slaves but are more interested in a comfortable environment.

Becoming Family — Understanding Each Other
Jeanine Bozeman is professor of social work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Baby Buster Generation

Some writers describe the Baby Busters as the generation born between 1965 and 1984. Their idea of success differs from the Boomers’ idea. The Busters desire social influence and respect and a clear meaning and direction in life. Busters seem to have struck a balance between the concerns of the two preceding generations. They are concerned with quality-of-life issues.

Busters are vitally concerned with relationships. They desire to have a meaningful purpose in life yet want to live in comfort. Characteristics include an intense interest in protecting the natural environment. Busters are process oriented and believe that treating persons with care and concern is more important than the product produced.12

To Busters, people are important and valuable, not because of their economic potential or productive capacity but because of their value as persons. The value of friendships and the depth of friendships are very significant to the Buster generation. They tend to value friendships and their relational network over their jobs or possessions.

Institutions tend to be irrelevant for Busters, but they see faith as a means of building relationships. Agreeing with Boomers, they see moral truth as relative. Members of the Buster generation desire to grow and develop personally. Because of this motivation they want to be part of every process. They need to dialogue, explore, and shape stories.

They want to know about personal experiences. Team leadership is most appealing to them. Leaders who appeal to this generation must be authentic and genuine. Busters are suspicious of leaders who are smooth talking with big visions.13

Becoming Family — Understanding Each Other
Jeanine Bozeman is professor of social work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Bridger Generation (including the Mosaic)

Other sources have described the Busters as born between 1965 and 1976
andw the Bridger Generation comprised of persons born between 1977 and 1994.

This group has been characterized as religious though not necessarily Christian. They resist any claim that one faith is superior to another.

The world of the Bridgers is multiracial and multicultural. Their economic world is divided between the “haves” and “have nots.” They have been reared predominantly by working mothers;
only 71 percent live with two parents, so they are growing up with the most fragmented families of any American generation.14

Bridgers are described as more confident and ambitious than the Boomers. These characteristics are reflected in the attitudes of Bridgers who were college freshmen in 1993. Rainer reports that fewer attended college because their parents wanted them to go; a larger percentage attended in order to get a better job, gain a general education, make more money, learn more about things, and prepare for graduate school.15

Stress is a major characteristic of the Bridger generation. They have experienced during their growing up years the highest crime rate ever. They are confused about leaders in our nation whose actions do not appear to match their words, so they have been described as politically confused. Issues of sexuality have added additional stress particularly because of the increase in the number of AIDS cases.

The majority of the Bridgers have known few boundaries, standards, and rules, so they frequently are viewed as an independent generation and as being very serious. They are a visual generation that reads less than the previous generations but prefers to watch television. They worry about money but seem to have more than any other generation.16

Other influences that have shaped them are the lack of an extended family, vanishing gender roles, and the rapid change in society that is driven by advanced technology.17

The church must understand this generation if we are to reach them. They need challenges biblically because they are eager to learn and are most likely to respond to high expectations and the demands of discipleship taught in Scripture.

Churches must reach out to this generation with unconditional love, mentoring experiences, biblical preaching, and effective Bible study.18

Mosaic Generation
The Mosaic generation, born after 1984, is partially identified with the Bridger generation (1977-1994). Barna describes this segment of our population as less cynical and pessimistic than Busters, more self-confident, with a greater emphasis on self-reliance. Mosaics are comfortable with paradoxes and have no interest in institutions. They have grown up entirely in the age of technological innovation and so rely upon this technology. Special attention to the teenagers and the college students of today is important because of their number and their potential impact on society and the church. They have been called, in addition to Mosaics, Millennials.19

Howe and Strauss see this group as pleasant, cheerful, helpful, and community oriented. They focus on teamwork, achievement, modesty, and good conduct. They view them as much like the Elder and Builder generations and perhaps one destined to dominate the twenty-first century. They may become America’s next great generation.20

With this group, a service ethic already appears to be emerging built around ideas of collegial rather than individual action. They are supportive of civic institutions and involved in doing good deeds. They appear to be prepared to accept challenges, live up to their elders’ trust, and triumph over whatever history has in store for them.21

For sixteen years, I have been privileged to share life experiences with the leaders of tomorrow, both in the local church and in a seminary classroom. What a refreshing experience to be challenged by these future leaders. They keep me humble and cause me to be grateful to God for having survived the pain and agony of my own teen and early adult years.

My experience has been similar to Barna’s. My observation is that these Millennials have been and are highly spiritual and exhibit intense interest in spiritual matters. They thoroughly enjoy and are active participants in the Spiritual Formation small groups required at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Most of these future leaders are serious about their purpose in life and few see their lives as directionless. Barna characterizes their belief system as a combination of Christianity, pragmatism, Far Eastern traditions, and utilitarianism. They are more focused on God than on the institutional church.22

They believe that the development of character is more crucial than achievement and that each individual must assume responsibility for his or her own world.23

Zoba has challenged Christians with the question of whether our churches are empowering or inhibiting young people in their search for the face of God.24 Youth of today need experiences, participatory services, connection with others, and leadership that empowers others. Most churches are word based while youth today are visual and technological. They like stories and desire mentor-mentee relationships.

To meet the needs of youth, churches need to be people centered, inclusive, and dynamic. This group is accustomed to change at a fast pace. More persons in this age group are attending non-denominational churches. Many desire a return to humility in ministry and a renewal of mystical practices or spiritual disciplines.25

Gallup and Jones have noted that the youth generation is the group to watch because of their sheer numbers. “Forty percent of the world’s population is nineteen or younger.”26

According to Mark Matlock, current methods of evangelism are not working, and ninety-six out of one hundred teens will be lost for eternity unless the church figures out a way to reach them.27 George Barna sees that the challenge for Christian leaders is to learn how to communicate with this generation and get them to understand and embrace God’s Word without compromising it.

This generation wants spirituality and faith experience, not the traditional routines and dispassionate worship they see adults doing at the typical church.28

Becoming Family — Understanding Each Other
Jeanine Bozeman is professor of social work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Reaching the Generations

Every generation has a generational persona with distinct attitudes about family life, gender roles, institutions, politics, lifestyles, and the future. Each generation possesses its own personal biography and develops an adherence to certain fundamental notions and worldview that shapes the group’s direction from youth through old age. Their common location in history gives them a collective persona.29

We must, however, never forget that a generation can allow plenty of individual exceptions. Categorizing persons can be detrimental, unwise, and unfair. As Christians we must remember that each person is a unique creation of God, redeemed by Christ and gifted for service. Churches, colleges, and seminaries must be aware of the uniqueness of each individual.

The role of the church, according to Barna, is to influence all dimensions of culture rather than be shaped by the culture. The church must be alert and assertive in representing God in the world to the best of our ability. The church has a mandate to shape the future in alignment with His purposes and for His glory.30

The question confronting the church is, What does this age-stage fragmentation mean? Can we learn to communicate cross-generationally? Will we learn to pass along our faith to young people, many of whom may feel alienated already from traditional religious communities?31 I believe we can and must! We can, as Barna advises, “introduce them to authentic Christianity; do so with sensitivity and let God’s Spirit handle the rest.”32

Churches can help them with their real problems, a side of faith that often gets overlooked by churches and church leaders, according to Barna. Also, church leaders can provide youth of today with lifestyle alternatives.33

Although the characteristics and needs of various generations have been examined, a concern for older people is inevitably a concern for all age groups. As a professor of social work and having worked with persons of all generations in therapy and educational settings, I agree with Nancy Henkin that “generations are interdependent, not distinct, discrete entities.” Henkin challenges us as Christians to look holistically at our communities and view each generation as an asset. “We need to develop creative strategies for meeting the needs and utilizing the talents of all age groups.”34

We need to promote interdependence in our churches. Intergenerational interaction will help churches face the challenges of the future. In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, the country’s young and old share an experience that can bring all generations together. We have an opportunity to become a more mature nation.35 As Christians we also have the opportunity within the church to become a community of care as we grow in our understanding of each other.

Investing in Stronger Communities 

What follows is an attempt to reformulate our language around today's issues. It is a proposal to employ the language of "investment" and "community" as powerful indicators of what we are up to as members of church-based, congregation-centered organizations.

Know Your Generation

First, consider our generational location. Social analysts commonly divide our population spectrum into three broad bands: the "builder" generation, the "boomer" generation, and the "buster" generation.2
Broadly speaking, the "builders" are those born before or shortly after the end of World War Two. The "boomers" are those born during the so-called "baby boom" from 1945 to 1965. The "busters" are from the two decades after the baby boom went bust, that is, from 1965 to 1985. (The so-called "bridge" generation, those born after 1985 whose maturing years will bridge the 20th and 21st centuries, are only beginning to be analyzed.)
Each wave has defining characteristics. The "builders" grew up under the influence of the Korean War and the old-fashioned patriotic sentiments of the two world wars. The "boomers" grew up with the Vietnam War--long and disillusioning, expensive, unpopular, and ineffective. The "busters" experienced the Gulf War, which in contrast was short, efficient, and highly effective.

Again, the "builders" were print-oriented and grew up under the influence of radio. The "boomers" were more media-oriented and were the first to experience the ubiquitous influence of television. The "busters" are now more electronic-oriented and witnessed the rise of the computer.
High on the list of values for "builders" were patriotism and duty; "boomers" valued education and quality; "busters," competence and relevance. In terms of their relationships with others, "builders" found themselves to be loyal and dependent; "boomers" were more supportive and independent; "busters" are largely disconnected and interdependent.

Or, to put it another way (bear in mind that we are painting with broad brush strokes; these generalities will not apply to every individual) "builders" are loyal and respectful; "boomers" are supportive but questioning; and "busters" are thoroughly disconnected and rejecting.
Church members from the "builder" generation gave considerable support to global missions. "Boomers" were more interested in larger world-wide concerns, while "busters" are focused on more local community issues. Related to this is another key insight: the older generations, "builders" and some "boomers," can be motivated by appealing to their sense of commitment to a cause and by presenting them with a significant challenge. But the younger generations, most "boomers" and "busters," are more inclined to respond to opportunities to join in communities and to show compassion, especially compassion for children.3 This suggests that we will be more effective in enlisting people if we are clear about how our work will foster compassionate communities in our midst.
One final characteristic is important here, related to financial resources. "Builders" grew up under the lingering influence of the Great Depression. For them, money is something that is to be saved.

For "boomers" however, who grew up during the period of post-war economic expansion, money was never in short supply. For them money is something that is to be spent.

For"busters," who have matured during less secure economic times, financial prosperity is not guaranteed. They can no longer assume that a good education will translate into a well-paying job, a household can survive on a single income, or they will be better off than their parents. For them money is something to be invested. Therefore, we need to pick up on the language of investing and learn to see how our work is a way of investing in community. 

above notes by: Mark I. Wegener

Selling to the Generations
1998 Robert C. Brenner, MSEE, MSSM

Age plays a critical role in customer buying decisions. In fact, the generation into which we are born has as much impact on buying and purchasing decisions as income and education. Our shared experiences determine what motivates us toward or away from a sale. Broad-based marketing directed toward a wide consumer audience is being replaced by targeted, "one-on-one" marketing focused on specific individuals.

Nowhere is the concept of generational selling more important than here. Most Americans fit into one of four generation categories. "Mature" buyers were born between 1909 and 1945. Comprising 26% of our population, they include the depression-era kids and the war babies.

"Boomers" (also called "Baby Boomers") joined our world between 1946 and 1964. They are the largest group at 78 million (30% of our population).

"Busters" (also called "Baby Busters," "Generation X-ers," "twentysomethings," and "Generation 13-ers") were born between 1965 and 1980. There are fewer of them (busting the birth growth curve), yet at 45 million strong, they comprise 17% of our population.

"Millennials" (also called "Generation 2001-ers") were born after 1980. Many will graduate from high school in 2001. These four generational groups have unique characteristics, and it is to these characteristics that you must design and develop your marketing strategy. Their buying motivations are tied to the underlying values that they possess-values based on shared experiences.

By understanding these values, you can tailor your products, services and communication to meet their needs, aspirations, and desires. This knowledge alone gives you an advantage is sales, today. Let's explore the values of these generations so you can develop a plan to sell to each segment. Not everyone will fit these typical characteristics, but overall, the following descriptions are unique to the generation defined.

The Matures were influenced by the Great Depression, World War II, the atom bomb, and the GI Bill. They remember the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Vietnam and the radical 70s.

They lived through severe economic upheaval and frightening dangers. They grew up in tough times when simple things were rationed, when saving for a rainy day was considered prudent, and when morals and ethics defined the character of an individual. They appreciate discipline, hard work, and self denial. They are overall social and financial conservatives. Matures are slow to embrace anything new. They distrust change and would prefer the status quo. They saved their money and consider retirement and leisure time suitable rewards for sacrifices made earlier in their lives. They appreciate and buy products that satisfy their basic values. Their shared experiences have and will continue to drive their consumption of products and services.

Baby Boomers are the most populous and influential of all. They were born to post-WWII prosperity when the economy expanded rapidly. Boomers have enjoyed unprecedented opportunities in education and in employment. They are the "feel good" generation, who take good things in life for granted. They share an expectation of prosperity and affluence. They are the "me" generation, who feel entitled to a "good life."

To them, autonomy is key. They want to do it by themselves, and they want to be individual. With parents who dedicated their lives to giving their children more than they had, Boomers are the "spoiled" kids of this century. They are more self- absorbed, and typically seek instant gratification. Yet, they are more tolerant than other generations. They are typically liberal and feel that money will always be available to buy everything for everyone.

Boomers want to share their perceptions of "good" with others. They expect prosperity, yet they believe they have a right "to do their own thing." Boomers embrace social programs easily. Yet, most seek purpose and personal fulfillment in their lives. Boomers are also the shocked generation.

Throughout the nineties, they have saw their ingrained sense of entitlement ripped apart by unmet expectations. For many, high-paying jobs, large houses and multiple cars evaporated with the employment, the careers and the lifestyles that were so severely impacted by massive layoffs in the late 80s and early 90s. This global workplace shift produced a shock wave that will be felt for the next 20 years.

It's clearly influencing the next generation, the Busters. The Busters, or Generation X-ers, are between 18 and 34. They are shell- shocked products of changes that are ripping apart the fibers of society, the family and the workplace. They see new technology rapidly changing their world, and to them, nothing is permanent, nothing seems absolute-as though life is a video game. Busters are constantly buffeted by tumultuous change.

They saw the Berlin Wall crumble and were directly affected as political, corporate and social structures imploded worldwide. They watched their parents suffer devastating job losses, and they became wary and uncertain about their own future.

Busters are disillusioned with almost everything. They have been called the "why me" generation and the "whiners." They feel they are reaping the sins of their forefathers. Thus, some call them "Gen 13-ers" after a medieval fable where the 13th generation is the last to suffer from a curse on their predecessors.

Where the Boomers are idealists, this generation is pessimistic and blame Boomers for today's problems. Busters are reactive, yet introverted. They appreciate "cocooning" and "getting away." Yet they are quite social with their own generational group. They think communally and often make decisions together. With low expectations of the "good life," Busters feel that their future lifestyle will be less than that enjoyed by their grandparents. Pushed by their parents to get a good education, they now find future employment comprised of temporary low-paying jobs and short project careers.

They consistently face layoffs, displacement and being "between jobs." They live for today and don't believe they will ever enjoy the Social Security promised to all Americans. Over half of them come from broken homes or live in a "blended" family. The Busters are the first of the "latch key" kids. They've been jostled, jolted and pushed back and forth by everyone and everything around them. With a very low trust level, they fear that you too, aren't sincere. And they desperately want something real in their lives, something lasting. They seek truth in life and in others around them.

The Buster generation can also be enthusiastic, ready and willing to take on challenges. They accept hard work as necessary but are less willing to start at the bottom. Many feel they deserve the best jobs and often migrate toward technical careers where the pay is better. They are learning to accept change in their lives.

Yet rapid change is the way of life for the Millennial generation born since 1980. This generation represents a refreshing mindset as they join Boomers and Busters in society and in the workplace. Having watched their parents and grandparents grapple with change, Millennials are growing up in a world that is constantly in motion, constantly revising and restructuring itself.

To them, change is normal. And visual. They experienced the Gulf War through the video arcade realism of television. Through it all, Millennials are developing an amazing optimism and a conviction that the future will indeed be better for all. They appear well- grounded and wise for their young age.

They feel that preceding generations have made huge mistakes. It's as though the Boomers and Busters held a party and then left the mess for the Millennials to clean up. They recognize problems in our world, and they want to correct perceived wrongs in society, government and in relationships.

They aren't as radical as the Baby Boomers or as materialistic as the Busters. But they are goal oriented and highly motivated toward their perceptions of success. Each seems to have established specific objectives with a clear path toward achievement. Most are generally pleased with themselves and are already planning for marriage and a family.

Although most accept divorce as an acceptable solution for an unhappy marriage, they want long term relationships. Most plan to marry before they are 26 and on average, plan to have three children. This generation admires their moms and their dads but trust their grandparents even more. Yet they have little trust for Generation X-ers as a whole. They plan to vote, but will determine their own candidates. They are generally evenly dispersed across the political spectrum but don't believe any political party has all the answers.

They remain pessimistic about the performance of government leaders, lawmakers, and the media. Uncertain about the direction America should take, Millennials search for solutions. And they plan to find them. Millennials feel that their greatest advantage is being born in a technological society. They are optimistic about their job future and consider education critical. To them, every citizen has a responsibility to improve education. Millennials believe that they have more educational opportunity than their parents, but they also believe that educational institutions are not doing an adequate job. Nevertheless, they respect teachers and plan for lifelong learning experiences. Many feel that positive race relations are hampered by government intervention and biases of certain minority groups.

They feel these groups actually prevent races from developing mutual understanding and respect. Millennials expect to change this. Most are color-blind when they relate to other people. They accept each other as individuals, little different from themselves. Each generation has unique characteristics, and each generation responds to specific focused advertising,





"To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required."
Patterson’s Model for Human Relationship
        TimeTravel as a Christian Discipline

Will You Let Us Write the Movie of Your Life? 

WebTeam Focus Group Questions

Personality Plus: Our Particular WebTeam Grid

Three Rules for Affective Education

Two Rules for Effective Education

One Rule for Infective Education

There are No Rules

Statistics and Generational Hyperlink

Here, I envision some apologetic for generation-specific 'rooms' in this building. The unified vision will be for all generations to accept the others and to know enough to proudly introduce visitors to those other rooms (before going into their own for focused attention).

Statistics and Relational Hyperlink

I will also share a few 'secrets' I have learned about relational hyperlink: cause and effect.

Hopefully, the purposeful discussion of certain statistics will spur our team members and our entire local church to follow visionary leadership in the building of this website.

Statistics and Technological Hyperlink

I envision some observations about networking andwhat I have learned because of concentrated effort beginning with 40 Days of Focus (2004). The lessons learned have application even in the unlikely event of an apocalyptic post-modern, post-techie culture.

FEBRUARY 1-28, 2005     4,983 UNIQUE VISITORS      13,413 Page Views




Baum, L. Frank. The Wizard of Oz. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1963.


Barna, George. A Fish Out of Water. Nashville: Integrity Publishers, 2002.


Baur, Walter. “Exousia.” in A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 2d ed.,
        Translated by William R. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich.  Chicago: The University

        of Chicago Press, 1979.


Blackaby, Henry T. Created to be God’s Friend. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers,      1999.


Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Life Together. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1954


Briscoe, Stuart. Vital Truths to Shape Your Life. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers,   2001.


Chapman, Gary. The Five Love Languages. Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 1995.

Chapman, Gary. The Five Love Languages of Teenagers. Chicago: Northfield

Publishing, 2000.


Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Simon &

        Schuster, 1989.


Cushman, Donald P. Communication in Interpersonal Relationships. Albany, NY: State

        University of New York Press, 1985.


Fee, Gordon D. God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul.
       Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994.


Goldstein, Arnold P. Reducing Resistance. Champaign, IL: Research Press, 2001.


Haugk, Kenneth C. Antagonists in the Church: How to Identify and Deal with 
        Destructive Behavior
. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1988.


Hauerwas, Stanley. A Better Hope: Resources for Confronting Capitalism, Democracy, and Post-Modernity. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2000.


Hinson, Glenn. Spiritual Preparation for Christian Leadership. Nashville: Upper Room

        Books, 1999.


Hobbs, Hershel. The Baptist Faith and Message, rev. ed. Nashville: Convention Press,



Hughes, Theodore E, and David Klein. A Family Guide to Wills, Funerals and Probate.
        New York: Checkmark Books, 2001.


Jaffe , Dennis T. and Cynthia D. Scott Managing Change at Work. Menlo Park, CA:         Crisp Publications, Inc., 1989.


Kotter, John P. Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996.


Kouzes, James, and Barry Posner. The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: Jossey

Bass, 1995.


Lawson, Stephen J. Made in Our Image. Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2000.


Geoghegan, Jeffrey, and Michael Homan. The Bible for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley

Publishing, 2003.


London, H. B, and Neil B. Wiseman. The Heart of a Great Pastor. Ventura: Regal  

       Books, 1994.


Martin, Steve. Pure Drivel. New York: Hyperion, 1998.


May, Rollo. Man’s Search for Himself. New York: Dell Publishing, 1973.


McIntosh, Gary L. One Church, Four Generations. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2002.


McManus, Erwin Raphael. An Unstoppable Force. Loveland, CO: Group Publishing,



Morenstern, Julie. Time Management from the Inside Out. New York: Henry Holt and       Company, 2000.


Myers, Isabel Briggs. Introduction to Type. 5th ed., Revised by Linda K. Kirby and

        Katharine D. Myers. Palo Alto, Ca: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1993.


Nowery, Kirk. The Stewardship of Life. Camarillo, CA: Spire Resources, Inc., 2004.


Richardson Ronald W. Creating a Healthier Church. Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1996.


Robinson, Darrell W. People Sharing Jesus. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995.


Robinson, Darrell W. Total Church Life. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1993.


Schaller, Lyle E. The Interventionist. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997.


Schwarz, Christian J. Natural Church Development.


Schweer, G. William. Personal Evangelism for Today. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1984.


Steere, Douglas V. On Listening to Another. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1955, 20-24.

        Quoted in E. Glenn Hinson, Spiritual Preparation for Christian Leadership, 50-51.

        Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1999.


Stott, John R. W. Christian Mission in the Modern World. Downers Grove, Ill:

Intervarsity Press, 1975.

Stott, John R. W. The Contemporary Christian. Downers Grove, Ill: 1992.


Sweet, Leonard. Faithquakes. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994.


Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn. New York: Harper & Row,    Publishers, 1965.                                    

Warren, Rick. The Purpose Driven Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995.


Wilkinson, Bruce. The Dream Giver. Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2003.




Quoteable quotes:


Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Life Together. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1954.


“God hates visionary dreaming; it makes the dreamer proud and pretetsious. The man who fashions a visionary ideal of community demand that it be realized by God, by others, and by himself. He enter he community of Christians with his demands, sets up his own law, and judges the brethren and God Himself accordingly. He stands adamant, a living reproach to all others in the circle of brethren. He acts as if he is the creator of the Christian community, as if his dream binds men together. When things do not go his way, he calls the effort a failure. When his ideal picture is destroyed, he sees the community going to smash. So he becomes, first an accuser of his brethren an accuser of God, and finally the despairing accuser of himself.”  (27-8)


James Emery White Life-Defining Moments. Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 2001.


Every life is defined by two movements of time, but most of us are aware only of one. We are born, we live, and we die. That is our lifetime. The Bible soberly notes that we are promised three scored years and ten, and those boundaries have et to be moved with an great success.

There is, however, another great sweep of time that transcend the limits of hours or days….Beyond the time that defines the parameters of a life, there is a time that defines the outcome of a life.


This reality was better understood by the ancient Greeks than by us moderns. Beyond having a word for the common passage of time, chronos, form which we get our word chronological,” they made use of another term, kairos, for which we have no counterpart in the English language. Kairos speaks to the quality and content of time itself, independent of its actual length…..Kairos is time filled with opportunity, a moment pregnant with eternal significance and possibility. It is a point of time that demand action, a space of time in which life-determining decisions are made. (3)


Stuart Briscoe. Vital Truths to Shape Your Life. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001.

“Perhaps God’s people can speak out winsomely and compellingly and cast some sweetness and cast some light on the troubled waters of our culture’s values.” (20)

  (When our topics hit on euthanasia, gay, lesbian, transgender, abortion, etc.)


Leonard Sweet. Faithquakes. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994.

“An AncientFuture Faith is as much remembered as it is imagined. If postmodern means anything, it means a new openness to the past and to the authority of tradition in the future. It was the Modern era that thought it was the only age to know anything. Memory provides identity. Loss of memory means loss of identity, perhaps the most serious outcome of the modernization of religion.  


Hence, AncientFuture. Time moves backwards as well as forward—as we recognize he future in the past, and he pastness of the present. An AncientFuture faith yokes yesterday to today trough a future filled with with new-old thinking, living, and moving.   (19)               --collide old-fashionedness with new-fangledness.—


“In the modern era the arts were demoted in favor of the sciences and other industrial and military spheres of endeavor. Now even theologians are proposing that theology works better as an art than as the “science” or “history” it often became in the modern era. Those who actually do theology are the true artists and artisans—those who create not only for pleasure but for use.”(92)


“Stop trying to be everything to everybody, and carve a niche for your church from your surroundings. Target the audience God is calling you to serve,  contextualize your ministries and functions to this audience, and be faithful to this mission. No church, no community can meet all the needs of any community. No church, no community can write a formulaic “how-to” program that will work across the board. Every target audience must write its own formulas.

Thriving Christians become sensitive to the needs of the culture that gives them shelter and the needs of individuals both within and without shelter. After all, the only alternative to a needed ministry—a ministry to the needs people have in their lives—in an unneeded ministry.” (90)

Art Buchwald: “Whether these are the worst of times or the best of times, they are the only times we have.”


Henry Blackaby. Created to be God’s Friend. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers,        1999.
To have urgency will bring a willingness to obey God quickly. To know that what is done with God will last gives urgency to setting priorities and living with intentional focus and certainly not to waste live or to live life carelessly.” (8)

Jurgen Moltmann: “The present time of believers is no longer determined by the past. It takes its definition from the future.”


Gary Chapman. The Five Love Languages of Teenagers. Chicago: Northfield

Publishing, 2000.

 “Allowing the teen to sit with friends rather than family at the theatre or church, if accompanied by an expression of love, is a way of both affirming independence and meeting the teen’s need for love.” (163-64)

The behavioral characteristics which accompany the teens search for independence normally cluster around the following areas:

The desire for personal space, emotional space, social independence, intellectual independence. (165-178)

“Creating an atmosphere where their teenagers can develop social, intellectual, and emotional independence is one of the parents’ greatest gifts to teenagers.” (178)


George Barna. A Fish Out of Water. Nashville: Integrity Publishers, 2002.

“Leading for the applause of the world is about gaining popularity, making money, taking over the market share, leaving a legacy. Leading for God is about obedience to his vision and principles.” (191)


John R. W. Stott. Christian Mission in the Modern World. Downers Grove, Ill: Intervarsity Press, 1975.
 “The historical Christ is the contemporary Christ. In New Testament terms, the fundamental affirmation is that “Jesus is Lord.’. . .it is an essentially Christian affirmation, for no one can make it but by the illumination of the Holy Spirit.”

(49) cf. 1 Cor. 12:3


“It comes more natural for us to shout the gospel  at people from a distance than to involve ourselves deeply in their lives, to think ourselves into their culture  and their problems, and to feel with them in their pains. Yet this implication of the Lord’s example is inescapable.” (25)


“Our personal witness does indeed corroborate the witness of the biblical authors, especially that of the apostles. But theirs is the primary witness, for they were ‘with Jesus’ and knew him, and they have borne witness to what they heard with their ears and saw with their eyes. Our witness is always secondary to theirs.”   (48)

(fbcgalt: we have the opportunity to quote those primary witnesses, to speak of their accounts and thus express our confidence in the apostolic witness.)

Cynthia D. Scott and Dennis T. Jaffe. Managing Change at Work. Menlo Park, CA: Crisp Publications, Inc., 1989.

Being a leader during change is not easy. Different management skills are needed. Less hands-on control and more “framing” and “bridging” occurs.” (73)
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Julie Morenstern. Time Management from the Inside Out. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000.

“You can learn some skills and modify some behaviors, but you can’t really change your essence—and you shouldn’t.” (12-13)
likes and dislikes, natural habits, needs, and desires. Time management principles for our 40 Day frame

Geoghegan, Jeffrey, and Michael Homan. The Bible for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, 2003.

According to the Bible for Dummies, “The word witness, similar to the legal definition, means “to testify.” Yet, because many early Christians experienced severe persecution for their testimony about Jesus, the Greek word for witness—martyros (English “martyr”)—has come to denote someone who dies for his or her beliefs.” (300)


Kirk Nowery. The Stewardship of Life. Camarillo, CA: Spire Resources, Inc., 2004.

“Leading someone to follow Christ wholeheartedly is disciple-making.” (42)
”To make a disciple is to guide a new or immature believer to spiritual maturity.” (42)

In sharing from his ‘stewardship of influence’, Kirk Nowery …that we all influence how others will think, feel, speak, and act. (44-8) “By what you do and say, by how you act and react, by the attitudes you display, others will see Him either honored or dishonored.” (44)


Steve Martin. Pure Drivel New York: Hyperion, 1998.
”Writing is one of the most easy, pain-free, and happy ways to pass the time in all the arts.” (5)


Lyle E. Schaller. The Interventionist. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997.

“As the years turn into decades and time passes, internal pressures often force three organizing principles to the top of the congregational agenda. These are to take better care of (1) today’s members, (2) the children of today’s members, and (3) the real estate. That natural, normal, and predictable tendency of institutions to become increasingly self-centered is one of the basic arguments for planting new congregations organized around outreach. That predictable tendency also helps to explain why a higher level of competence is required of the pastor who is asked to “renew” an old established congregation thank is required of the pastor who goes out to plant a new mission.”


Darrell W. Robinson People Sharing Jesus. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995.
“God has empowered each of us with the ability to communicate. We can communicate about Jesus. By listening, creating a rapport, and sharing in a non-threatening way, any Christian can effectively witness.” (3)


G. William Schweer. Personal Evangelism for Today. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1984.

“Modeling must begin with the pastor. Responsibility extends to staff members and other leaders as well, but the pastor’s model is crucial. Since he is chief trainer, results can be meager if he does not demonstrate fruitful evangelism on a consistent basis. The trainees must know that he practices what he preaches and engages in what he teaches. He will take them no farther than he has gone. His teaching must have credibility based on performance.”  (178)


Coach Floyd Eby. Calling God’s Tower…Come In, Please!  Coldwater, MI: Calling God’s Tower Ministries, Inc. 1975.


“The only effective counseling I can offer is to give a person an opportunity to join the family of God then continue to encourage them to grow spiritually, or get close to God, or get to know Him better,  and better, or become a real close friend of Jesus, or increase their faith. If they follow this advice, and live by it regularly and consistently, then God will change their lives and the problems will be shouldered by Jesus.” (211)


Steve J. Lawson Made in Our Image. Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, Inc.  2000.

“Vandalizing God’s image—not with spray cans or permanent markers, but with loose thinking, partial truths, and bad theology—is at the center of every sin.” (32)