So. How different from my world is the world and worldview of the college freshman in 2006? Thanks to Ron Keener at Church Executive Magazine for pointing to the Mindset list of Beloit College. The list is fun to read (and will make my peers feel a bit old!). A couple of insights into their world:
- They are wireless, yet always connected.
- A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents’.
- Thanks to pervasive headphones in the back seat, parents have always been able to speak freely in the front.
- A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.
- Mr. Rogers, not Walter Cronkite, has always been the most trusted man in America.
- Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards and snail mail to retail items.
- Madden has always been a game, not a Superbowl-winning coach.
- They have always known that “In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups.”
- Young women’s fashions have never been concerned with where the waist is.
- They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.
- Brides have always worn white for a first, second, or third wedding.
Keener’s statement that “These cultural touchstones have shaped the lives of today’s first-year college students, and churches had better understand what it means if they wish to connect with the new/Next generation” is what caught my attention. The challenge to consider the larger issue of how the class of 2010 will view church compared with their parents and grandparents is important … especially when it comes to things that are not really about Jesus or the Bible. He points us to Marion Aldridge’s list of 103 distinctions. I guess it is no wonder that leadership in the church is sometimes a bit difficult!
However, whatever the worldview – old or young – the Word of God is still sufficient. As Paul stressed, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1, ESV)