admin/ June 3, 2018/ Church Communications/ 0 comments

Communicating Across Generations

People are living longer, and our historical footprint marks our values, our preferences, and our challenges. As time continues to progress forward, we continue to age and, thank God, we continue to grow, generation by generation.  Each generation is shaped by the time in which they are born, and each generation due to their common timeline possess some common characteristics.  Please note, no one generation can be stereotyped with a set character. However, there are many commonalities many individuals born in a specific time frame seem to share.

GenerationsTraditional
Born before 1942
73+
Boomers
1943-1964
54-72
GenX
1964-1980
34-54
Millenials
1980-2000
18-34
Pluralist (GenZ)
2000-2020
0-20
% of US Population9%15%20%27%32%
Events That Shaped The GenerationWorld War 2
Great Depression
Civil Rights
Vietnam War
Sexual Revolution
Space Travel
AIDs Epedemic
Berlin Wall Fall
Gulf War
Latchkey Generation
911
Social Media
Hurricane Katrina
Reality TV
Recession 2007
Economic Downturn
Global Warming
Mobile Devices
Homeland Generation
Research Finding on CharacteristicsLoyal
Respect Authority
Family Values Critical
Faith Necessary
Church Important
Strong work ethics
Loyal to job
Customer Service Oriented
Family Values
Faith Necessary
Church Optional
Skeptical
Informal structure
Practical & adaptable
Family expanded
Faith Optional
Church Optional
Realistic
Confident & Competitive
VALUE DIVERSITY
Family Undefined
Faith Undefined
Church Irrelevant
Want to Make A Difference
Tech Savvy
Culturally sensitive
Train & Teach Themselves
Family Flexible
Faith Diverse
Church Inclusive
Globally Connected
Environment for ComfortDiscipline and formal
Traditional
Relaxed and informalInteractiveMulti-sensory and interactiveInteractive
Kinesthetic
Communication PreferenceFace To Face (F2F)
Phone
Phone
Email
Email
Text Messaging
Text Messaging
Email
Video Messaging
Text Messaging

Today, our congregations are ministering to five generations simultaneously.  We must incorporate the diversity of our congregations and meet each generation specific preferences. Incorporating the needs of multiple generations requires intentionality in planning, ministering and educating.  We are called to meet people where they are and to walk with them to where God is calling them to serve, that’s what ministry looks like.

How do you reach such a diverse congregation and remain relevant to the gospel message?  Who should be in leadership to assist in facilitating the dialogue of inclusion in our local congregations? What role does communication play in this inclusive environment?

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