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This Month in Mission for May 2022

Summer and synod assembly are just around the corner. While things often slow down for churches, I hope this month’s newsletter helps you speed up your evangelism and outreach.

Information Worth Considering: Gen Z and the search for meaning

We tend to make a lot of the differences between the generations (too much, sometimes), but if we’re going to ask questions about where the young people are, it’s helpful to understand why they may not be in church. Like all generations, Gen Z (those born after 1996) look for meaning, purpose, and belonging. Passing on information I got from the ELCA’s innovation lab, “Gen Z discovers meaning when they can explore their inner life alone and with close friends and family, while finding creative ways of expressing those self-discoveries with the outer world.” Gen Z finds purpose “in creating stability in their personal life (e.g., financial, relational, operational) while making meaningful change in the world.” In the search for purpose, it’s worth lifting up that 48% of those in Gen Z struggles to align their life with their goals. In their search for belonging, Gen Zers find belonging “when they are part of a group that shares their lived experience while being acknowledged and embraced for their unique identities and perspectives.” Of course, there’s more to a whole generation than these three quick sentences, but as we as a church are looking to make connections with a younger generation, this may be a helpful starting point as we help this next generation live out their vocations in the world.

Resource worth checking out: ELCA coaching

Coaching is best for leaders who are looking to get un-stuck or work through an issue facing them in ministry. This is one of the ways the ELCA is investing in its leaders, with many synods having a much stronger coaching culture than we currently have in South Carolina. It’s not a way for someone to tell you what to do; it’s someone who helps you break patterns of thinking and find for yourself new ways to move forward. As someone who might have rolled his eyes about this snake oil in the not-too-distant past only to have experienced first-hand the benefits of coaching, take it from a skeptic that coaching is something helpful and worth looking into. The business world is full of coaching, and with a strong cohort of ELCA coaches available, we can take advantage of this in a faithful way. If you’re looking to make moves in outreach, evangelism, or another type of activity, I’d really recommend it as a potential resource to help you navigate change or a challenge.


Thanks for reading!

If you want help finding a coach or if you want to talk about Gen Z, reach out! For all who are at synod assembly, find me for a conversation then!

If you know someone who would like to receive this, please forward it to them. If someone has forwarded this to you and you’re interested in more please email and ask to be added to the This Month in Mission” newsletter list.

In Christ,

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ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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