The most common questions I am asked. “What is NextGen?”

Isn’t it obvious? I mean, simply googling NextGen should clarify what it is, right?

1st search: 
Used when talking about video game systems that are coming out or have just come out.
Example:Why buy next gen when you can always get a SNES?

2nd search:
Star Trek: The Next Generation. Also known as ST:TNG or TNG. Next Gen is on the Sci-Fi channel.
Example:Next Gen is on the Sci-Fi channel.

3rd search: 
When something is super dope it is the best thing going.
Example:Dude she is next gen.

Okay, so maybe it isn’t all that clear after all.

NextGen Origins

A few years ago, when Orange asked me to help network and lead a tribe of NextGen/Family Ministry Pastors, we discussed what we wanted to call the role. Really, the title was all over the place.

  • Family Pastor
  • Director of Family Ministry
  • Next Generation Director
  • NextGen Pastor

After much discussion, we landed on NextGen. Why?


Here’s what we found to be true. There was a lot of confusion around the Family Pastor/Family Ministry role. For many churches, the Family Ministry role was a Children’s Pastor who also focused on the parents of the kids they led. Not really student ministry parents, just parents who had kids in the children’s ministry.

NextGen was a far less common title. It allowed us to define the role as the person who oversees all ministry from babies through High School. The person who led staff, budget, and programs for everything under adult ministries, that was the NextGen Pastor.

Who is NextGen?

We believe that every church has a NextGen Pastor. Sure, your church may not have that role, but there is someone leading from the NextGen chair.

  • It could be an actual NextGen/Family Ministry Director
  • It could be a Discipleship Pastor
  • It could be an Executive Pastor
  • It could be the Lead Pastor

It could even be the Student pastor who has authority over the entire Children’s Ministry or the Children’s Pastor who leads the Student Ministry team.

Someone leads all the age groups at your church and that person is who we see as the NextGen Pastor.