Dealing with the “ME” Generation

I grew up in the late 80’s and early 90’s as many of our readers have. My generation was known as “Generation X.” Those who grew up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s are part of what has been called the “ME Generation.” It is this generation that concerns me in this article.

Most of our readers here at Ministry to Children are involved in children’s ministry at some level in the local church. Many of the children in our churches come from one of the two aforementioned generations. These children are the first fruits of those two groups of people. Unfortunately, these first fruits might not be acceptable to God as they are full of blemishes because of the attitudes of their parents.

When a generation grows up with a “me-first” attitude and then has children without shedding that attitude, problems begin to arise. “I want” is the mantra of the late 90’s and has now become “I expect” today. The children we teach and share the gospel with every week come with an expectation of they deserve to be happy and treated well. They do not deserve to be punished because they are taught, usually in the home, that they deserve nothing less than their best life now. What is worse is that if they are not getting these thoughts from their parents, they are certainly getting it from the mainstream media and their peers.

Our challenge as preachers and teachers of Christ is to show these children their need for a savior in Christ Jesus. Usually, they have no idea of their need because they have no idea of their sinfulness. We, as called out children’s ministers, are fighting a battle of epic proportions. We are not fighting on just one front. Rather, we are fighting on several fronts at one time. It is not enough to just teach the children. We must train the parents to be the defensive front-line in this battle within their own home.

We must continue “to wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience” as Paul writes to Timothy. I write this, not to be an alarmist, but to remind our readers of the challenge that lies before us as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Comments

  1. Allan Lister says

    My generation has come to be known as the “silent” generation. It usually encompasses the years from 1929 to 1945. We were too young for WW II, the Korean war and Viet Nam. I was born in 1943 and Viet Nam was just beginning to blossom into all out war in the early sixties when I graduated from high school. One of my classmates was the first from our area to die there.

    My classmates and I watched the change in culture that started with the graduates of 1964. It was the start of the “protest” generation; of the activist. This group still wants to protest everything and anything. For all the material blessing they were afforded, they were/are the most angry and rebellious. To confuse the issue further, many of this generation became the Yuppies, the epitome of the “me” generation. I have never understood how the WW II Generation aka the “greatest” generation could have raised the (baby) boomers with the “Me” attitudes. For the most part, these attitudes continue to be passed down from generation to generation. I am really concerned for these children who have no concept of the God who created our universe or of His son, Jesus Christ. So many children, so little time…

  2. olga says

    I like the notion and the implications of the word me generation. I face this challenge as a mother and a teacher and a childrens pastor. Another idea that interests me is the following It is very popular among young mothers with small children to take even their small babies to special classes, developmental courses where they i.e the babies! and toddlers! are taught, instructed. The areas to be developed may range from physical to mental abilities. It is always done in the hope of providing their child with everything in time to be successful in his fututre life. Quite often these courses apply methods originally meant and used for helping disabled or handicapped children. Many young children are rushed to baby/toddler swimming, baby/toddler computering, language classes etc. My interest is on the one hand what kind of generation will raise out of this background. The other thing is that I do not agree with the attitudes of these parents, nevertheless it is an interesting question how a child who is not pushed, not mashed into the mentioned success race will be able to socialize into his very differently minded generation/local or work community/ society. The borderline between to use the opportunities for the best of your child and develop his talents and to make a star idol of the successful omnipotent superman from your child seems sometimes very delicate.

  3. says

    It’s so true. I grew up in the 80s and early 90s, games consoles were just beginning to emerge, mobile phones remained the property of wealthy business men and family life was still fairly wholesome.

    Life in recent years has become more materialistic than ever, and now the school playground is a place to compare notes on the latest computer game, see who has the better mobile phone and those who don’t have them are sidelined. Life as a growing child is all about being ‘cool’ and discussing Bible stories is very uncool.

    What the children do at school is almost impossible to govern, but it’s the home environment that sets the trend. It largely falls on the parents to form the attitudes of the child at home, and hopefully that will spill over into the school environment. However, if the school playground mentality is allowed to infiltrate home life, then there will be trouble!

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