I think the generation gap is all about the cultural gap. Do you think the generation gap is a horizontal gap or a vertical gap?
I have seen and heard many failure stories of English Ministries of Korean churches trying to reach out to Korean-American 1.5 and 2nd generations.
I think churches have been trying to bridge the horizontal gap between 1st generation and 1.5 and 2nd generations.
I think churches have been trying to find and put different shapes and styles of bridges between the gap.
I think the generation gap is the vertical gape, not the horizontal gap.
If we agree that the generation gap is all about the cultural gap, then it is not a new thing at all. This cultural gap had been existed since the church started. There was a huge gap between Jews and Gentiles.
I think churches need to look at the each generation as a mission field. As Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22, “19.Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible 20.To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so to win those under the law. 21.To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22.To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” (NIV)
I think The Message Bible describes more clearly what Paul was trying to say in 1 Corinthians 9:19, “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people:”
If I may say in my own words what Paul was saying, it would be “When I am with a certain range of people in order to reach out to them, I act like them, I talk like them, I eat like them, and I wear like them.”
When we go to a mission field, we do our best to learn their culture before we go. We learn their languages. We learn the way they do greetings. We try to learn everything we could possibly learn about their culture.
And we don’t question why they talk the way they talk or why they eat the way they eat. We just accept them as they are.
I think the key to minimize the generation gap is “humility and acceptance”.
I think we need to consider 1.5 and 2nd generations as our new mission fields. We need to do our best to learn the culture of new generation. We learn their eating style. We learn their fashion style. We learn their life style.
And in order to reach out to them, we talk like them. We eat like them. We wear like them. We act like them even though we are not them.
I think when we do that there is a great chance that we can talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ with them with an open mind.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Any Comments?