Conference to Focus on Barriers in Generational Communication

By M. Patterson |  February 7, 2016

Demographers recognize six generations living today.  Communication across generational lines is a major barrier in all facets of American life, including the church.  Representatives from at least five generations will come together February 26 and 27, 2016, at Fairview Baptist Church’s 7th Annual Communication Conference to address the communication gap that exist among the different generations and the affect it has on churches’ ability to effectively engage in ministry and fulfill their mission.  The event is sponsored by Fairview’s Communications and Public Relations Ministry.  The Conference theme is “Building Bridges: Connecting Generations.”

Topics to be discussed, along with concepts and applications presented are designed to benefit all members of the church, regardless of position, longevity or age.  Pastors and other church leaders, publicity staff, and those seeking their place in the working of church ministry are encouraged to attend.  Information received can also be reassigned to home and work environments.

Friday, February 26, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., there will be an informal, open-ended session with a brown-bag lunch period.   The session, “Confronting the Fear of Technology,” is designed to provide hands-on support in the use of electronic devices such as I-Pads, notebooks and tablets, cell phones/smartphones, laptops, and basic tips on navigating the computer, digital cameras, etc.  Those with minimal skills or limited knowledge in these areas are encouraged to attend the day session.  Volunteer mentors will be available to assist.  An abbreviated session will be held on Saturday. 

Friday night’s schedule will begin at 6:00 p.m. with registration and the Conference will officially open at 6:30 p.m.  The focus is “Connecting Generations to Fulfill the Mission of Ministry.”   Evangelism Minister Cleo McGlory will present on “Effective Witness in a Multi-generational Society.” 

The main event of the evening will be a presentation by Assistant Ministry Director Jamar Patterson, outlining the diverse mindsets, values, and goals among the different generations.  A panel of persons from four to five generation groups will interact with Conference attendees, discussing the challenges of communicating with those of different generations and the affect it has on church ministry.   Participants will assess how integrating the different communication styles across generations will improve the effectiveness of communication in ministry, bridging the gap to create a more driven, cohesive, and interdependent and team oriented group. Pastors, leaders and lay members are encouraged to attend Friday night’s session.

The focus for Saturday, February 27, is “Successful Communication Tools:  Connecting Generations.”   Breakout sessions are designed to provide participants with resources and practical techniques and tools to effectively communicate with all generations.  Topics include:  “Social Media in Ministry,” “Promotion Strategies:  Planning for Success,” “Photography:  Getting the Best Results,” “Managing Your Ministry Through the Use of Technology,”  “Posters and Flyers:  Basics of Graphics Design,” and “Church Sound Techniques.   Descriptions are available at

The Conference will close with a 12:00 noon luncheon with Fairview’s Senior Pastor, Dr. John A. Reed, Jr., as Luncheon Speaker.  He will address “The Challenge of Pastoring a Multi-generational Church.”    Having come to Fairview in a pastoral capacity at the age of 25 and now serving in his 53rd year at the same church, Dr. Reed has the unique experience of pastoring as a resident of each of the generations and pastoring a membership of people in each of the generation groups.  Pastors and leaders are especially encouraged to attend the luncheon.

Registration is now open and is available through the church’s website at, link Communications Conference or by contacting the church.  Registration rates are:  Individual , age 64 and under, $20; senior rate, 65 years of age and older, $15.  Churches can register up to five (5) persons at a discount of $75.  Registration entitles the participant to attend all sessions and includes breaks, continental breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Conference materials. 

For information regarding the Conference or to obtain detailed course descriptions, contact the Ministry Director, Maeleatha Patterson, or Conference Chair, Jamar Patterson, at or by calling the church at 405-232-1621.