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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
Hey Kenny. One question I have about the title “Next Gen Pastor” is that how do you get rid of the stigma of call babies-12th grade “next”.
A lot of church folk Jesus juke me when I talk about the next generation and say “they are the next generation, they are the generation of NOW! Because God is using them this very moment”
To those kinds of comments I’ve been saying “Yes. God is using them now. The reason I call them “next” is because they have still yet to move into their full autonomy. So they are the “next generation” waiting to get that chance to be used by God.”
That’s not a great answer I know. So what do you normally say in those moments, if you even run into them at all. Thanks brotha
LOL! Jamal, you’re my favorite. I have NEVER heard this. Semantics, seriously. I could probably pick a random word out of the dictionary and make an argument for the _______ generation. Dumb. Ha!
I think I’d just simplify it this way. In another generation, it’s the kids in our preschool classrooms, elementary environments, and student ministry who will be leading the church. This church and the church. We’re the one’s leading now, they’re next. God is doing amazing things in and through them now, but they’ll take the baton next… meaning they’re after us. Obviously, there’s overlap – but let’s not get technical. 😉