Monday, November 15, 2010

The SKI Generation

I recently became aware of a new phenomenon that is slowing gaining popularity through out our culture. It began with the Baby Boomer generation. The Baby Boomers are those individuals who were born post WWII until 1964. The Baby Boomers overflowed the nurseries in churches throughout the country. These larger families resulted in the largest increase of church attendance in the history of Christianity in America. 1950- 1060’s was unprecedented for church participation, attendance, and giving. Evidence of this is all the churches that built large education buildings, which at the times were desperately needed. As a group, they were the healthiest and wealthiest generation to that time, and amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time. One of the unique features of Boomers was that they tended to think of themselves as a special generation, very different from those that had come before. This generation no longer was interested in church life, nor valued the benefits of a faith community. This resulted in a decrease in church participation. The small church movement of the 80’s -90’s targeted the Baby Boomers to attract them back to the church. As the Baby Boomers begin their “senior” years they have been credited of now becoming the SKI generation. SKI is an acronym for Spending our Kids Inheritance. Statics shows that those of the Baby Boom generation would spend the inheritance they received from their parents in less than six month. As the parents of Baby Boomers pass away, after their lifetime of savings would be spent by their children in less than six months. Now the spending trends of this generation as they age are now spending the inheritance of their children also. They are spending it on vacations, cars, homes, land, travel, hobbies and paying down their personal debt. Inheritance spent on a search for happiness?

My intent is not to place blame or beat up on the Baby Boomers. Not all Baby Boomers are the same. But when one looks closer at the Boomers, they wanted the same thing as their parents. Something we all desire. We all want a better life. Deeper for us than the pursuit of money, power and material possession, deeper than our desire for food and our need for self fulfillment, lies the richness we find in contentment with what we have. All that we have and are express the love of God for us in Christ. The things with which we have been blessed, the tools we have been given, draw us into holy living, living in godliness, faith, love and hope.

God has chosen to give us what we need and not what we want. God gave Christ for us and to us. He delights in providing for our every need and for those of our families, friends and neighbors. He makes provisions for the great and small, the rich and all the children of the world.

True living isn't about what we own or the wealth we amass. Paul tells us, in I Timothy 6:6-19, riches are uncertain. True living, though, is about placing our trust in the God who richly provides all things for our enjoyment. Sun and rain, air and water, food and clothes are for all. For us, the good race of the faith is run in pursuit of treasures in heaven. It is there, Paul assures us, that we inherit the life which is the true life. The life we all truly desire. May each of us re-evaluate our spending, as we invest in love, friendships, and influence the lives on the ones we love. That's is a inheritance worth leaving and worth spending. I ponder exactly what inheritance am I leaving for my children. Where are my riches and what I am leaving behind?

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