A Unitarian Universalist Multigenerational Ministry Resource

Learning in 2011

I read a passage in the new book, Faith Formation 2020, which really has caused me to think more deeply about our worship service. It was a passage talking about our youngest generations: the iGeneration, our children born after the year 2000, and the Millennial Generation, our youth and young adults born between 1980-1999. It reads:

“Learning experiences for Millennials and the iGeneration need to be experiential, image-rich, multi-sensory, interactive, engaging, and varied in learning style…The youngest generation (the “iGeneration”) is a creative and multimedia generation. They think of the world as a canvas to paint with words, sights, wounds, video, music, web pages, and anything they can create. Multimedia means using multiple modalities to reach these students.”

I wonder, how many of our congregations are beginning to recognize this shift, and incorporate multimedia in our worship services? This can be a large transition from our traditional services; one met with hesitation, resistance, and even outrage by members of other generations. I wonder if we are able to meet all of these various generational needs in an hour-long service? Can we pull in a YouTube clip and show it on a screen in the sanctuary without taking away from the worship experience, and by inspiring those in our midst?

I’m curious as to how congregations are accepting this challenge, or if it has come up at all?

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Comments on: "Learning in 2011" (1)

  1. I am reflecting on two experiences – the first my use of various video clips in my worship times, more often movies I have created that may include YouTube clips (but I never rely on Internet access for the actual presentation in worship . . . not 126 miles away from the mainland!) I find these universally received by all ages, and an enhancement not a distraction from “worship.”

    the other experience was at our local high school where recently there was an assembly to energize the juniors and seniors about not cutting school. The principal made PowerPoint style presentation filled with many persuasive facts . . . and the youth tuned out and acted up. Then a community representative (who is also the Treasurer of our local UU Congregation) spoke about his experiences around attendance and success from the perspective of a Coast Guard Commander. You spoke directly, forcefully, and invitingly, and you could have heard a pin drop in the hall.

    I find that people of all ages are hungry for and respectful of excellent public speaking/preaching . . . they tell me so . . . and in its absence no amount of technological glitz will be enough. However, if you can weave the interactive, the visual, the graphic, the colorful with the rhetorical, the visionary, the compelling, you’ve got something not available elsewhere in our society. Couple that with our liberal religious values and I think we will see your congregations welcoming all ages.

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