Writing For Five Generations

I've spent most of the morning working on a sermon for the weekend after Christmas. I've come to a realization that should be absolutely obvious, but presents a challenge for those of us in a multigenerational church.

Sermon writing and preaching is a fairly comfortable endeavor for me – I've had the opportunity preach more than 30 times this past year. I primarily preach at The Green Room – a worship service Schweitzer offers on the Missouri State campus. Worship on the college campus generally means a congregation that is mostly 18-24 years old. A handful of times a year I preach for all of the weekend services.

Here's the challenge: illustrations, stories, and strategies that work with a single generation audience generally fall flat when applied to a multigenerational group. One perfect example is that I'm really wanting to talk about a specific characteristic of popular culture, hip hop, that I'm very aware will not work for most people over the age of 40. I think this situation is most visible when it comes to humor. 

It's a difficulty the church has in every area of communication, not just preaching, and it's an ongoing challenge. How do you address the differences in communication preferences in your life?