You've heard the cry that the church is dying. Shaw says the future can be bright but we need to increase our understanding of what's going on – increase our generational intelligence.
In the first half of the book, Shaw gives us information on the generations. He identifies them, gives us the basics of what they believe, shows how the time in which they were born shapes them, and reveals their strengths and temptations.
I am impressed with this information. I now have a much better understanding of why those of younger generations behave as they do. As an older Baby Boomer, I've got some insight as to why Generation Xers are cynical and skeptical. I have a much better understanding why Millennials are so confident and see morality so differently than I do. I understand the “emerging adulthood” phenomenon and why twenty-something young people are still living at home.
The second half of the book builds on the information Shaw gave in the first half. He helps parents know how to engage their prodigal children. He has very good insights and suggestions about those leaving the church and cohabiting, for example. Then he explores what the generational information means for the church. He assures us Christianity will not disappear but he also identifies the challenges the church is facing, such as the way outreach is done. He has good suggestions for reaching young people and helping them think through intellectual challenges. He also includes ideas for older people, such as when their church becomes something they no longer like.
I am impressed with the understanding and insight Shaw has concerning generational differences. I know from my own family experience that he is right on. I knew the younger generation was different and now I know how and why. I also have some good ideas about initiating conversation with them, that is, listening first.
Shaw has presented lots of great information in this book to help us understand the generational differences. He admits he does not have all the answers. But he does have some good ideas to start the dialog. I highly recommend this book to parents, pastors and church leaders who want to understand generational differences. It would be great for young people too, as it will help them understand the older generations.
We all need to increase our generational intelligence and this book is a good place to start.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Haydn Shaw is a leading expert on understanding generational differences. He has worked with more than a thousand businesses, nonprofits, and governmental organizations. He is a full time speaker and consultant for FranklinCovey, specializing in leadership, execution, and personal productivity methodologies. He and his wife and their four teenagers live in Illinois.
Tyndale House Publishers, 304 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book for the purpose of an independent and honest review.