Generations are not distinct entities that stand alone. They overlap. Older generations have lived through all the years the younger generations have, but they have been shaped by events and world changes that the younger generation has not.
Each woman is a unique person created in God’s image. We don’t want to separate women into generations to label their behavior or to stereotype them. However, stopping to take a look at the generations of women in our churches today can help us meet the needs of women of all ages. Instead of shaking our heads and wondering why women in other age groups act the way they do, we can listen with informed understanding and seek to meet their needs. Those of each generation can learn from and contribute to the understanding of others.
How can a church, specifically women’s ministry, respond to the differences in generations? Here are 3 things to remember:
- We must realize that each needs the good news of Jesus Christ, and every generation has many people who do not yet know Him.
- Women in all generations need relationships. They need Christian friends, and their lives are enriched by knowing women of all ages.
- Women need opportunities to serve. All Christian women have gifts, strengths, skills, and talents. Many are just waiting to be asked to put their unique set of abilities to work.
Based on our differences—both personally and generationally—here are a few other things to keep in mind.
- Some women prefer long-term commitments, perhaps a year-long assignment. Others want only a short-term commitment of a week or two.
- Some will want one woman to be in charge; others will respond better to a team approach.
- Some women enjoy Bible study with an “expert” teacher. Others prefer to discuss the topic with their peers, even if they have to search for answers.
- Some will accept anything leaders say, plan, or suggest. Others will challenge everything until they understand it thoroughly.
As members of the family of God, united in love and service to Him, we can work together and serve side by side with women from all generations.
How do you minister to the different generations of women in your ministry? Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences!
This article is an excerpt from Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women’s Ministry compiled by Chris Adams.