Gerenations and the Church: Part 4
Generation X was born between 1965 and, some say 1975, and others say around 1980. It has to do with whether you use the birth curve or purchasing trends survey numbers and voting trends. That’s why the experts differ, but I put them between 1965 and 1980. Now X’ers, we’ve talked about community already, we’ve talked about them being heavily influenced by divorce and mainly societal instability. Both the United States and Canada faced some big drops in economic growth. You know the great stability of twenty years was over and suddenly there were more ups and downs, and with far more women working than before, it changed the game. Society didn’t have the same support structures that we do now, today. So, you don’t really hear about Boomers feeling the effects of divorce, feeling marginalized or different in some way nearly as much as we do with X’ers. Shows about blended families got a lot more attention at that time because it was a new idea and a new concept. Generation X’ers tended to be much more cynical about things and their political shows are cynical. “The Simpsons” has run for twenty years because their family was not quite “Leave it to Beaver”. As a result, they tend to withdraw from organizations and institutions, and they tend to look past hype. So, they have had some struggles.
You know we worry about the Millennials walking out the door, but the generation that has struggled the most with institutions has been Generation X. They’ve created their own families, they’ve created their own institutions, and as a result community becomes a really big factor in much of their literature and the emerging big church movement, collaborative leadership rather than polished worship, or a commanding senior minister. So, when you begin understanding this generational research you say, “No wonder we go through scripture with a different lens.” It is shaped by the generational influences.
The X’ers are going to school in a one world view and come out under another; they come in under Modernism and come out under Post-Modernism. The world changed right before their eyes.