2001 — Series XI
Spiritual But Not Religious: Reaching Lost Generations — Understanding mission among 18-30 year olds
Tom Beaudoin and Roland Martinson, lecturers
Raised in a world of MTV, AIDS, computers, broken families, and virtual reality, "Generation X," by whatever name it is given in the media — Post-Boomers, Twenty-Somethings, Busters, or Post-Moderns — is posing new challenges to the Church and its ministry. The many recent studies surrounding Boomers, Generation Xers and, now, Post-Millennials, have made clear that the young men and women who make up Generation X are as diverse in outlook and style as any generation before them. Consequently, any sweeping, easy generalizations and pop labels carelessly ascribed to this group are often deceptive.
Nevertheless, there is one thing that members of Generation X, and now the Post-Millennial generation, have in common. They represent the first generations in North America to be raised in a predominately post-Christian culture. The boundaries that the Church crosses in ministering to youth today are as significant as any church crossed when ministering to other cultures around the world in the great missionary eras.
The 2001 Hein-Fry Lectures Series sought to create a forum of discussion that addressed the issue of understanding mission among 18-30-year-olds. In addition, it also hoped to provide a clearer understanding of how the Church can approach the many and varied issues it will face when reaching out to those spiritual but not religious "lost generations.
Tom Beaudoin is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University and is the author of Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X.
Roland Martinson is the Carrie OIson Baalson Professor of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry and Pastoral Care at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota.