Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Generation Gap

So what exactly is the generation gap? Why is it significant? Several years ago as I was launching out onto the road as an evangelist. I began to notice a tremendous amount of misunderstanding about youth culture and students both in and outside of the Church. Likewise, there was a great deal of misunderstanding from students about the perspective of adults and society in general.

I finally nailed it down. This misunderstanding and failure to effectively relate to one another is called the generation gap. This is partly due to the chaos of adolescent development and the fear and inadequacy by adults of youth culture.

Today, there are respectively four different generational groups in society and our Churches.

1. Builders (Generally born before 1946)
2. Boomers (Born between 1946-1968)
3. Generation X (Born between 1969-1982)
4. Millennial s (Born after 1983)

A generation is a group of people within society who were born within a certain time frame together. They are developed in a similar way through common life experiences. For example the Builders were defined in a large part by the Great Depression, Boomers by bell bottoms and tie dye shirts, Generation X by the Gulf war and the Millennial s by 911. These experiences go a long way in our society to shape our lives within each generation. It is not a coincidence that Millennial s are more adept at using modern technology than Builders. It is the generation that they have grown up in. I have met many students who could not even imagine a time without owning their own computer. And yet, when I was growing up my family did not have a computer in our house until I was 18 years old.

The generation gap is all around us. I believe that with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit we can begin to close the gap and repair the relationships that have been torn through disunity. God has always been at work in each generation and He continues to move in this generation.