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Effective Generational Ministry

Biblical and Practical Insights for Transforming Church Communities

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Understanding generational differences is a key to effective ministry in a multigenerational church. Too many churches and parachurch organizations know too little about the similarities and differences among the three largest generations that make up the American populace today, and the church often suffers because of it. Effective Generational Ministry offers students and practitioners cutting-edge research and biblical analysis of Boomers (1946-1964), GenXers (1965-1981), and Millennials (1982-2001) so churches can minister more effectively within and across generational lines.

The authors, one an expert on generational differences and the other a respected New Testament scholar, represent different generations and areas of expertise. Effective Generational Ministry explores key characteristics of each generation based on empirical research, provides biblical-theological analysis of generational attributes, and offers specific suggestions for ministry with and for each generation. The book also provides proven examples of intergenerational ministry.

1. Boomers at Large
2. Boomers in Light of the Bible
3. Priorities for Ministry with Boomers
4. Generation X: The Lost Middle Child
5. Xers in Light of the Bible
6. Priorities for Ministry with Xers
7. Millennials: Apple of the Eye
8. Millennials in Light of the Bible
9. Priorities for Ministry with Millennials: Getting in the Game


"In a culture marked by generational challenges and conflicts, Christian leaders need solid resources to help them navigate a complex and ever-changing terrain. Effective Generational Ministry equips ministers to effectively know, love, and serve the entire body of Christ. Combining biblical and social science insights with clear ministry applications, the authors offer a well-defined pathway for shepherding, teaching, mentoring, and discipleship in the twenty-first century."

David Setran, professor of Christian formation and ministry, Wheaton College; coauthor of Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood

"Effective Generational Ministry by Sbanotto and Blomberg is a well-written and helpful book with both practical and biblical guidelines for ministering well to Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. I highly recommend it!"

Siang-Yang Tan, professor of psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary; author of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective

"I am especially drawn to places where grounded research that helps students understand culture interacts with insightful biblical teaching and theological reflection. It's encouraging to find a text that aims at just such integration. Sbanotto's capacity to ask questions in her research that make generational studies suddenly relevant for anyone involved in ministry is a rare and welcome gift. To have this coupled with the careful critique and seasoned insight of Blomberg's long years of biblical study creates a text that is every bit as formational as informational. Adopt this as a text and you can count on many lively conversations! Effective Generational Ministry delivers!"

Chris Kiesling, professor of human development and Christian discipleship, Asbury Theological Seminary; coauthor of Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood

"In Effective Generational Ministry, Sbanotto and Blomberg travel the worlds of sociology, anthropology, theology, biblical studies, and ecclesiology on behalf of the church to help congregations navigate differences across Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. Their book is fresh, well researched, and encouraging. It reveals the wonderful array of differences among these three generational cohorts and how to meet their specific needs in the church. This book will keep church leaders well prepared to engage in effective ministry for generations to come."

Matthew D. Kim, assistant professor of preaching and ministry, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

The Authors

  1. Elisabeth A. Nesbit Sbanotto

    Elisabeth A. Nesbit Sbanotto

    Elisabeth A. Nesbit Sbanotto (PhD, University of Arkansas) is assistant professor of counseling at Denver Seminary and the author of Generational Affiliation as a Component of Culture. She is a registered psychotherapist and maintains a private...

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  2. Craig L. Blomberg

    Craig L. Blomberg

    Craig L. Blomberg (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is distinguished professor emeritus of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colorado, where he has taught for more than thirty years. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Can...

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"[This book] has helped me to ask questions (I'd say, better questions) of what I'm doing and how I can better serve folks in each generational category. . . . Sbanotto and Blomberg have handed me tools and encouragement, and as a result I have taken up some new, subtle initiatives within my church. . . . I found Effective Generational Ministry a valuable use of my time: reading time, prayer time, and brain time! The material between its covers should be poured over by every minister, elder board, and Bible teacher serious about their vocation. It probably ought to be snatched up by seminaries and made essential reading for their professors as well as their students. I have no hesitation in giving this book high marks and strongly recommending it!"

Michael Philiber,

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