Monday, October 19, 2009

Understanding the Generational Gap Part 2

The following is part of series on generations and what I have learned about them.

Do you know what generation you belong to? For some of us it is pretty easy to define, for others it can be rather difficult. Because there is no specific authority, the lines and names of the various generations can become a little gray. From my research I believe there is between 6 and 8 generations living today. Below is a list of the common names used to describe generations and the years given. (The years and names very from source to source. Generations in green are agreed upon breakdowns)

  1. The Greatest Generation – 1901- 1924
  2. Some want to split this into two Generations – 1901 – 1913 or 1912- 1924
  3. The Silent Generation – 1923 – 1943
  4. The Baby Boomer Generation – 1946 – 1964
  5. Generation Jones – 1954 – 1964 (Birth rates of this period dropped off the Baby Boom highs thus leading some to say a new generation started in 1954).
  6. Generation X – 1963 – 1979
  7. Generation Y – 1978 – 1992
  8. Generation Z – 1992 - 2010

As you can see there is no real authority when it comes to defining when a generation starts and when it ends. Part of the reason for this difference and for some of the overlapping in years has to do with the parents of the generation. Depending where the parents are born affects what generation a child born during a change is placed. This makes this research a lot of fun.

How does all this affect the church? To have the best church possible you must closely relate it to your people. Knowing the different generations, their likes and dislikes will go a long way in defining what you church will look like. Can you guess what generation most of the people in your congregation belong to?

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