Equipping the Next Generation – Part 1

If I were to ask you, “What is your worldview?,” how would you answer? Some of you might begin by wondering, “What is a worldview?” 

Christian Growth July 1, 2024

If I were to ask you, “What is your worldview?,” how would you answer? Some of you might begin by wondering, “What is a worldview?” 

According to James W. Sire, “A worldview is a collection of attitudes, values, stories, and expectations about the world around us, which inform our every thought and action. Worldviews are expressed through ethics, religion, philosophy, scientific beliefs, and so on.” A worldview is how a culture works out in individual practice. The Collins dictionary states: “A person’s worldview is the way they see and understand the world, especially regarding issues such as politics, philosophy, and religion.”

No one lives in a vacuum. According to Beverly Christian, each individual has a personal worldview, even if they are unaware of it or cannot articulate it. The formation of a worldview may be unconscious or conscious. This is clearly evidenced by the influence of pop culture and modern media—the purveyors of materialism, consumerism, and societal desires—in imperceptibly shaping one’s worldview. In this kind of social environment, it is necessary for everybody to consciously evaluate contemporary society’s prevailing values and ideals. 

Children are not born with a worldview. Parents (or significant adults), society, and culture play an important role in facilitating a child’s emergent worldview. Teachers assist in this development by exposing children to new insights, experiences, and information. The church also plays a role, whether intentionally or unintentionally, in shaping the next generation. As children mature, their understanding of—and reasons for—adherence to a given worldview are modified or altered. 

What are the worldviews of our children today? Who is shaping them? What are they being exposed to? Whether you have children or not, you are shaping the next generation of leaders in society. 

In biblical times, after the flood, a generation spanned 40 years. According to the book of Luke, there were approximately 77 generations between Adam and Jesus (Luke 3:23–38). Generations were determined by the general age at which people had children, and some generations began earlier or later than others.

Today’s generations span approximately 15 years. There are said to be seven generations currently alive.

  1. The Greatest Generation (born 1901–1927): Also includes the youngest members of “The Lost Generation,” born before 1901 (1883–1900)
  2. The Silent Generation (born 1928–1945): Grew up in the chaos of World War II and the Great Depression; also known as traditionalists
  3. The Baby Boomer Generation (born 1946–1964)
  4. Generation X (born 1965–1980)
  5. Millennials/Gen Y (born 1981–1996)
  6. Generation Z/Centennials/iGen (born 1996–2012)
  7. Gen Alpha (born 2013–2025)

The generation that follows will be known as “Generation Beta.” There is also a belief in an “Omega Generation”—the people who will see the return of Jesus—according to some.

My real question is, “How are we equipping our young people—the Gen Z and Gen Alpha generations?”

In Part 2 of this series, I will explore the biblical imperative that Seventh-day Adventist schools are given to shape the worldview of the youngest generations in order to prepare them for times of crisis.


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