Sometimes when I hear people say, “We need/want younger women in our church/women’s group,” it seems to come from a place of fear rather than a place of mutual relationship building. Sometimes there is a belief that individuals born in the ’70s and ’80s are going to ensure that the church or women’s group is more relevant.
When we focus on how someone looks—young or old—we miss out on building authentic relationships. When we spend too much time trying to “invite them” into our group, we’ve already positioned ourselves as the insiders and them as the “other.”
On the other hand, when we focus on meeting women of any age where they are—where their unique gifts can be added to the collective—we evolve as a faith community based on mutual belief and respect. All we need to be relevant for younger generations is to be in authentic relationship with each other.
This message is excerpted from “Building the church: One authentic relationship at a time” by Elizabeth McBride in the summer 2016 issue of Interchange. The article offers five tips on building relationship.