Australian church health & generational differences

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This Occasional Paper is an extended version of Occasional Paper 11 and includes more data tables and figures. It was first presented at the 2008 Lausanne International Researchers Conference.


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

Authors: Ruth Powell


Powell. R., (2008) Australian church health & generational differences.NCLS Research Occasional Paper 12. Sydney: NCLS Research.