Biggest Generation Gap Ever

Kara Powell | Jul 8, 2009

Photo by Bruno Martins

We seem to be living in the largest generation gap since the 1960s, at least according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. I haven’t been able to get a copy of the actual report yet, but in summaries that have been released, close to 8 in 10 people believe there is a “major difference” in the point of view of younger people and older people today. That is the largest spread since 1969, when the Vietnam War, and Civil and Women’s Rights created a similar gap.

According to those surveyed who were from ages 18-29, the disagreement revolves around differences in lifestyle, views on family, relationships, and dating. Those in the older age bracket pointed to a difference in a sense of entitlement as the core of the gap.

I’m a champion of intergenerational ministry. Time and time again, our FYI research indicates the value of mixing up 16, 46, and 76 year-olds. This recent Pew report serves to highlight the enormous need for cross-generational relationships.

Right now most churches have very separate worship and learning experiences for the different generations. Wouldn’t it be great if the church was known as a place where generations mixed?

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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