Generational Theory

Last year I went to a seminar led by ‘Dr Graeme Codrington‘ on Generational Theory. In it Graeme explored familiar territory for Youth Ministers, namely generational characteristics and how they affect the worldview of that age grouping.
Graeme though simplified the profile brilliantly and then using a multimedia approach covered three key arenas for each generation:
1.The factors, events and experiences that led to a generational difference and worldview.
2. The characteristics, priorities and practices of that generation
3. The implications for anyone wishing to engage with them them.

It was all stuff that I knew (and had spoken on) but Graeme was able to bring a clarity and a very well thought out, ‘so-what’ that really engaged people (and that businesses pay a lot of money for). I was fascinated how much it energised the Church leaders present … and I also realised that I’d maybe used too much energy trying to help churches understand the modernity/post-modernity divide when they could grasp generational theory much more easily. I’m also making a note to self that by highlighting the drivers, events and experiences that were formational to the paradigm change helped enormously in helping the audience to grasp that change. The framework for understanding the results was equally helpfully under the banners of behaviour, values and attitudes.
Graeme very kindly put me in touch with the Chief Exec of Scouts and we had a fascinating chat about how Scouting was using generational theory in it’s planning and training.
One of my tasks I think is to see how we can use this as part of the Diocesan Strategy and help churches think inter-generationally in a way that engages, celebrates and works. I’ve e-mailed Graeme to see if we can explore this. (It’s also interesting to layer this with the work of Kenda Creasy Dean on different attributes coming to the fore in different age groups further increasing the understanding ‘gap’ between the world of the Boomer and The Gen Y)
Anyway, well worth checking out the Tomorrowtoday website and by way of illustration here’s a video that is used to illustrate appeal to one particular age group: