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Tim Elmore: How To Avoid Generational Misunderstandings on Your Ministry Teams

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Photo courtesy of Tim Elmore

Dr. Tim Elmore is founder and CEO of Growing Leaders and a world-renowned expert on leadership, as well as Generation Y and Generation Z. He equips executives, educators, youth workers, coaches, and more to impart practical life and leadership skills to young adults. His latest book is, “A New Kind of Diversity: Making the Different Generations on Your Team a Competitive Advantage.”

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Key Questions for Tim Elmore

-What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of each generation?

You say that the generation gap is wider today than it has been in the past. Tell us what you’ve observed about this gap and why you believe it is growing.

-What are the misunderstandings that are happening on teams due to generational gaps?

-How would you advise church leaders to evaluate their generational assumptions to see where they are holding their teams back?

Key Quotes From Tim Elmore

“For the first time in modern history, as far as I can tell, we have seven different sociological generations living at the same time because people are living longer and mamas are still having babies.”

“Just think, if you’re six years old today, one third of your life has been during a pandemic with people wearing masks and not showing up.”

“The goal should never be to stereotype, but to understand.”

“When our screens went from public to private, things got niched and very pronounced.”

“I think it’s important for leaders and parents to know that Generation Z is not a continuation of the Millennials.”

“When I started my career, I would say the mantra of most bosses was, ‘Leave your personal problems at the door. You come here to get your work done.’ Today we say, ‘Bring your whole selves to work,’ do we not?” 

“I would say the two biggest ideas for someone to grasp in this conversation [about Gen Z] would be high anxiety and high agency…so I think we need to look out for what we are doing in the church for mental health issues. Yes, there are deeply spiritual issues for sure, but there are mental health issues that we may need to get help on to really know how to help these kids have peace of mind.”