Generations approach church differently

The Old Testament, the ancient Greeks, philosophers, poets, historians and sociologists through the centuries have described life in terms of the ebb and flow of generations. It has been called the most important conception in history.

Based on the results from the 2006 National Church Life Survey (NCLS), this paper provides a brief introduction to some of the generational differences among church attenders. It covers:

  • trends since 2001
  • a summary of generational similarities and differences
  • aspects of church most valued
  • vision for the future
  • hopes for the congregation or parish
  • attitudes to innovation and change


Ruth Powell and Kathy Jacka.


Powell. R., & Jacka, K., (2008) Generations approach church differently.NCLS Research Occasional Paper 11. Sydney: NCLS Research.