Generations: What Impact on
Faith Formation?
Beth Lewis, President & CEO
Augsburg Fortress
August 2010
All Rights Reserved...
2010: Five Living Generations
• G.I. 1901-1926 (84+)
• Builder 1927-1945 (65-83)
• Boomer 1946-1964 (46-64)
• Gen X 1965-1...
Who is in our mainline churches?
65% 35% 18% 4%
The Builders 1927-1945 (65-83)
The Builders 1927-1945 (65-83)
• Wealthier, physically fit, and savvy consumers
• Unique formative years: 1930’s to 1960’s...
The Boomers 1946-1964 (46-64)
The Boomers 1946-1964 (46-64)
• Formative years: 50’s to early ’80’s
• Values: powerful message of idealism, sense of
righ...
Adulthood of Boomers
1946-1964 (46-64)
• Dual career generation
• Struggle w/ marriage: high divorce rate
• Struggle w/ pa...
Gen-X 1965-1981 (29-45)
Gen-X 1965-1981 (29-45)
• First generation of latch-key kids
• Formative years: ‘70’s, ‘80’s, ‘90’s
• Much of their life i...
Core Values of Gen-X
1965-1981 (29-45)
• Independence
• High expectations of “having it all…now”
• Self-reliance
• Marriag...
A few ways to reach the Gen X generation
1965-1981 (29-45)
• A high quality website as an entry point to
church
• More int...
Then, how do we keep them?
• Small groups to build and enrich community…often
outside traditional church settings
• Kid fr...
Millennial 1982-2006 (4-28)
Millennial 1982-2006 (4-28)
• Formative years: 1980’s to 2010
• Two events that define this generation: September
11 and H...
Millennial world-view
1982-2006 (4-28)
• Focused on education
• Team players
• Active in the world: social service activit...
A few ways to reach Millennials
• Websites & social networking taken for granted
• Text-messaging: their communications to...
Then, how do we keep them?
• Communication via social networking
& text messaging
• Small groups to build and enrich
commu...
American Cultural Challenges
• From 1984 to 2007, those who identify themselves as
Christian dropped from 85% to 77%*
• Am...
Congregational
programming reflects the
relative absence of young
adults (or vice versa?)
Religious education offered for ...
Research
How Young People View Their Lives, Futures, Religion, and
Politics: A Portrait of Generation “Next”
http://people...
Some good news for the church…
• Teens & young adults want to serve others
• Teens & young adults care about social justic...
At Augsburg Fortress and sparkhouse, we think
that we in the church have a chance to engage
teens and young adults
if we f...
Please don’t hesitate to contact me
if we may assist you!
Beth Lewis
beth.lewis@augsburgfortress.org
http://twitter.com/be...
Generations Impact on Faith Formation
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Generations Impact on Faith Formation

481

Published on

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
481
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
11
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Generations Impact on Faith Formation

  1. 1. Generations: What Impact on Faith Formation? Beth Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress August 2010 All Rights Reserved © 2010 Augsburg Fortress
  2. 2. 2010: Five Living Generations • G.I. 1901-1926 (84+) • Builder 1927-1945 (65-83) • Boomer 1946-1964 (46-64) • Gen X 1965-1981 (29-45) • Millennial 1982-Present (0-28)
  3. 3. Who is in our mainline churches? 65% 35% 18% 4%
  4. 4. The Builders 1927-1945 (65-83)
  5. 5. The Builders 1927-1945 (65-83) • Wealthier, physically fit, and savvy consumers • Unique formative years: 1930’s to 1960’s (suffering thru depression and threat of cold war, yet enjoyed prosperity of the 50’s and 60’s • Conservative—don’t rock the boat! • As they age a) connect with grandchildren; b) think and act young; c) travel; d) loyalty
  6. 6. The Boomers 1946-1964 (46-64)
  7. 7. The Boomers 1946-1964 (46-64) • Formative years: 50’s to early ’80’s • Values: powerful message of idealism, sense of right/wrong • Activism of first wave of Boomers (Viet Nam war protests) • Empowerment: “We can make a difference!” • Experienced family of origin as a strong unit • Live life to the fullest, unlimited opportunities, career-driven/ competitive
  8. 8. Adulthood of Boomers 1946-1964 (46-64) • Dual career generation • Struggle w/ marriage: high divorce rate • Struggle w/ parenting: neglecting children • Brilliant in the workplace: --Define self in terms of accomplishment --No rush to retirement • Forever young mentality • Free-spirited, boisterous • Comfortable in the spotlight • Consumption-oriented
  9. 9. Gen-X 1965-1981 (29-45)
  10. 10. Gen-X 1965-1981 (29-45) • First generation of latch-key kids • Formative years: ‘70’s, ‘80’s, ‘90’s • Much of their life is about survival: – Widespread divorce (40% raised in single parent household) – Parents lacked time to spend with kids (dual career or single parent households) – Permissiveness (parents compensating for lack of time) • Mobile society (multiple schools)
  11. 11. Core Values of Gen-X 1965-1981 (29-45) • Independence • High expectations of “having it all…now” • Self-reliance • Marriage is disposable • Us-against-them (generationally) • Non-racist, non-judgmental generation • Strong female generation (males seeking identity/masculinity) • “The Computer Generation”
  12. 12. A few ways to reach the Gen X generation 1965-1981 (29-45) • A high quality website as an entry point to church • More intentional connection w/ preschool & school age families • Community events/Service events (connect) • Inspiring, multi-sensory worship • Authenticity/transparency
  13. 13. Then, how do we keep them? • Small groups to build and enrich community…often outside traditional church settings • Kid friendly worship (children’s time, cry-room) • Hands-on service opportunities • Educational programs that relate to life issues (parenting, financial planning) • Help them become significant leaders in the church community • Communicate using technology (emails, good website, Facebook, etc.)
  14. 14. Millennial 1982-2006 (4-28)
  15. 15. Millennial 1982-2006 (4-28) • Formative years: 1980’s to 2010 • Two events that define this generation: September 11 and Hurricane Katrina • Most adult-supervised kids ever (vs. Gen X) • Raised with strong family ties & parental involvement • Optimistic and enthusiastic
  16. 16. Millennial world-view 1982-2006 (4-28) • Focused on education • Team players • Active in the world: social service activities, concern about the environment, etc. • “The Giving Generation”: Helping others in record numbers • Declining teen pathologies (compared to Boomers & Gen X) • Digital “natives” • Active in social networks • Non-judgmental re: race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference
  17. 17. A few ways to reach Millennials • Websites & social networking taken for granted • Text-messaging: their communications tool of choice • Many service event options • Intergenerational activities • Inspiring, multi-sensory worship
  18. 18. Then, how do we keep them? • Communication via social networking & text messaging • Small groups to build and enrich community…often outside traditional church settings • Kid friendly worship • Hands-on service opportunities • Educational programs that relate to life issues • Intergenerational faith formation activities • Help them become involved in church with small, flexible commitments of time
  19. 19. American Cultural Challenges • From 1984 to 2007, those who identify themselves as Christian dropped from 85% to 77%* • Americans with no religious identification: 1998 8% vs. 2009 16%* • Regular attendees in the average congregation were older than age 60: ** – 25% in 1998 – 30% in 2007 • Regular adult participants younger than age 35: ** – 25% in 1998 – 20% in 2007 * Gallup, 2009 ** General Social Surveys, 2010
  20. 20. Congregational programming reflects the relative absence of young adults (or vice versa?) Religious education offered for those: • age 12 and younger = 82% • 13-14 year olds = 64% • 15-19 year olds = 53% • Young adults or college students = 37% * National Congregations Study, 2009
  21. 21. Research How Young People View Their Lives, Futures, Religion, and Politics: A Portrait of Generation “Next” http://people-press.org/reports/pdf/300.pdf Religion Among the Millenials http://pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Demographics/Age/ millennials-report.pdf National Congregations Study: American Congregations at the Beginning of the 21st Century http://www.soc.duke.edu/natcong/Docs/NCSII_report_final.pdf
  22. 22. Some good news for the church… • Teens & young adults want to serve others • Teens & young adults care about social justice issues • Teens & young adults often self-identify as “spiritual” • Teens & young adults crave community
  23. 23. At Augsburg Fortress and sparkhouse, we think that we in the church have a chance to engage teens and young adults if we focus less on how “we’ve always done faith formation” and more on “helping them follow Jesus”
  24. 24. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if we may assist you! Beth Lewis beth.lewis@augsburgfortress.org http://twitter.com/bethalewis www.augsburgfortress.org/blog
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×