Will Boomers Ever Grow Up?

6 03 2007


The January issue of “Rev!” magazine asks the question, “Will the Boomers in My Church Ever Grow Up?” (p. 37). 

Gary Fenton (senior pastor of Dawson Memorial Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama) begins the article by saying “I was surprised when a younger staff member first said to me, ‘The people who have the highest expectations, the lowest level of appreciation, and the least willingness to volunteer are Baby Boomers.’ … Another young staff member put it even more strongly, in the form of a question, ‘Do you think Baby Boomers will ever grow up, or are we going to have to cater to them all of their lives?’” 

The article goes on to diagnose the problem as Acquired Character Deficiency Syndrome (ACDS). ACDS is the unintended result of catering to the felt needs of a generation. The article links the syndrome to the loving actions of the generation that survived the Great Depression and World War II.  The World War II generation wanted their children to have a better life, so they pampered and indulged them at every opportunity. Pampered and indulged children grow up to be spoiled and self-indulgent adults. What a surprise! 

What the article doesn’t address is how this phenomenon continues in the current generation. The Baby Boomers are now the parents of a second generation of individuals raised in a culture of pampered accommodation.  While it is true that the new generation is abandoning many of the icons of opulence and the organizational structures their parents are associated with, the real question is why?  

Is it because they reject the stunningly immature selfishness they see in their parents or because they want their own icons and structures, ones that reflect “them”? The latter, of course, would be just another expression of selfishness.  

Sadly, the most recent studies tell us that the current generation is not more balanced and mature; it says they are even more narcissistic than their parents. So, are the current changes in church ministry authentic spiritual advances or just the latest expressions of the same old selfishness? What do you think and why?




One response

9 03 2007

Hmm. Interesting. I can’t comment on the changes in church ministry, as I’ve only recently come back to Christ and am still looking for a church home (a frustrating process).

I can say, though, that narcissism appears to be an inherited trait! That will probably keep getting worse with each generation until (if Christ hasn’t returned yet), there is a major upheaval and anti-disestablishmentarianism, like the 60s. But I think Satan, using money and stuff, can always swing the pendulum back the other way.

Thanks for stopping by today. I am glad to have found you! Over the next few days, I’ll read more of your posts. God bless you!

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