Missing generation research
The 'missing generation' refers to people aged 25-40 (roughly, generations X and Y in sociological terms), who are increasingly missing from many Methodist congregations. In 2010, a 12 month research project began to explore why this is the case and what might be done about it.
One aspect of this project was the gathering of case studies from churches who have a smooth age profile within their congregations, including a significant number of people in their 20s and 30s. These were then the focus of a discussion session at the 2010 Methodist Conference, in which Conference Representatives had the opportunity to share thoughts on the issue.
The Research and Statistics team spent a year gathering information from across the Connexion and reported the results of the project to the 2011 Methodist Conference.
The project has two aims:
- To establish what can be learnt from Methodist congregations that have a relatively smooth demographic profile over the full age range, and from this to provide guidance for other churches in their mission to the whole of society.
- To explore the attitudes of the 25-40 age-group towards the Methodist Church a) from practising Methodists, and b) from Christians who have previously worshipped in a Methodist context.
You can read the whole research proposal as part of a report that went to the April 2010 Council.