GENERATIONS & If you work with Baby Boomers you need to know their subgroup: “Generation Jones.” Here is comparison between “Early Boomers” & “Generation Jones.”

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: New generations are upon us. Following the “Millennials” born between 1982 and 2009, the next two generations are now “Generation Alpha” from 2010 to 2024 & “Generation Beta” from 2025 to 2039. See the chart at

But there are so also two segments of the “Baby Boomer Generation” (the generation born between 1946 and 1964). The first sub-segment is the “Early Boomers” of which I am one. They (we) were teens in the 60s.

But here I want to consider the so-called “Late Boomers,” or as I like to refer to them “Generation Jones.” They’ve been bestowed this moniker because in their teen years they were struggling to “keep up with the Jones” (i.e. older, Early Boomers). The best way to think about them is (as the author below says), “Early Boomers (teens in the ’60s) and Generation Jones (teens in the ’70s).”

A few notes about Generation Jones.

“Early Boomers” like me were profoundly impacted by the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement. We saw the world as a place we could change … and we had a duty to change it!

Generation Jones, which became teenagers in the 70s, had to muddle through the Watergate fiasco, rampant inflation, oil embargo’s, etc. And, as such they became much more skeptical about being able to change their world.

I’ve observed that …

  • Many of the “Early Boomers” became Christians because they thought, through Christ, they could help people change inwardly … and then they would change the world outwardly.
  • While “Generation Jones” grew skeptical about changing the world and therefore fewer followed Christ as a change agent.

Read the following article for more insights …

Early Boomers + Generation Jones: Meet the Two Boomer Subgroups

by Skylar Werde

It’s time to set the record straight. While Baby Boomers are often spoken of as one large cohort, there are indeed two different types of Boomers.

… The Boomer cohort is typically referred to as one group, born within the 20-year time span of 1946–1964. During the Boomer birth year, a baby was born every eight seconds. Clearly, the title baby “boom” was certainly appropriate for this big generation of 80 million. By 1964, Boomers comprised 40% of the US population. Looking at them as a whole, this generation has been incredibly influential and inspirational, creating waves of change from an early age… With dramatic changes in the political, global, and social landscapes, the Baby Boomers can be divided into Early Boomers (teens in the ’60s) and Generation Jones (teens in the ’70s).

Early Boomer: teens of the ’60s

Born 1946–1954
Early Boomers grew up as the world was wildly shifting. They were inspired by the changing role of women, the new economic landscape, and the rise of a counter-culture that was determined to leave a lasting impression on the world. These Early Boomers were inspired to action by the icons they were seeing stand-up for change. They idolized, followed, and fought with the likes of Martin Luther King Jr, Gloria Steinham, and JFK. These early Boomers were committed to reassessing the Traditionalist worldview and refocusing the world they lived in so that it reflected values inspired by their youth-driven counterculture.

While the nation adjusted to the counterculture movement, the resulting growing pains only stoked the youth desire to push the envelope and move the country closer to their idealized collective values. These growing pains can be seen most clearly in the form of the highly controversial Vietnam War and the draft that drove youth into action. The passionate demonstrations behind both the support and opposition of the war were striking and, for the first time, teens and young adults were challenging the status quo and the political decision to enter a war that raised more questions than it answered. Pair the image of hippies protesting the war with other images of youth involved in rallies for women’s rights, civil rights, and gay rights, and you see a generation of born activists.

The power to make change and see that change flourish, coupled with their success in growing their careers during a booming economy, has left Early Boomers with an optimistic and idealistic set of traits that they have taken with them throughout their lives. This optimism has manifested itself into a youthful outlook on aging as they redefine retirement and continue to stay active and energetic as they enter the next phase of their lives.

Woodstock, Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Rights Movement, Moon Landing

Generation Jones: teens of the ’70s

Born 1955–1964
While Early Boomers had major icons to look up to, Generation Jones was too young to remember these icons in their zenith. These Gen Jonesers were too young for Woodstock, the “I have a Dream” speech, and the assassination of the first Catholic president. The youth-driven counter-culture movement had accomplished many of its goals, and those kids that had been fighting for change were fighting for career growth by the 1970s. Instead of the idealistic and optimistic outlook of the Early Boomers, this generation was experiencing the backlash of an economy that was falling dramatically. This economic hardship and slipping post-war optimism defined the atmosphere that Gen Jonesers experienced as they were coming into their formative years.

Life at home was more different for Gen Jones than the more traditional setting that Early Boomers experienced. More homes were being forced into having two working parents due to changes in the economy and job availability. When Gen Jones went to school, there were not enough desks or books in the classroom because the school system wasn’t ready for this large cohort. They weren’t ready to put their kids in the same situation, so families were beginning to shrink in size. The pill became available so birth control and family planning were easier than in the past. With the competitive job market and economic stresses, divorce was on the rise as Gen Jones entered their formative years, causing teens to spend more time working independently and caring for themselves. While this wasn’t the generation of latch-key kids, Generation Jones was on the trailing edge of Generation X, which saw a dramatic spike in divorce rate and latch-key kids.

While the economy took a nose-dive, fuel prices spiked, the oil embargo impacted the nation, and job opportunities shrunk. Gen Jones had to become more independent and learn to fight for their future, because they quickly understood that nothing would be handed to them. With the tight job market, they knew they had to put their head down and work hard, dress for the jobs they wanted not the jobs they had, and develop methods of standing out. This was important for career growth, but at the time the main focus was on simply keeping their jobs. This period of fierce competition for job stability has stayed with the Gen Jonesers, who earned their names because they were constantly striving to “keep up with the jones” or “jonesin” for something more.

Watergate, Stagflation, Oil Embargo, Iran Hostage Crisis, Deindustrialization 

FAITH SHARING & Research suggests younger evangelicals are slightly more likely to share their faith

by Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 5/13/16.

About a quarter of U.S. religiously affiliated adults share their faith at least once a week, according to Pew’s study of American religious beliefs and activities.

The practice of sharing one’s faith is up slightly since 2007.

While older Americans are more engaged in other religious practices (attending church, prayer, Scripture reading), Pew found younger adults are slightly more likely than those 65 and older to share their faith.


Read more at …

BABY BOOMERS & Looking For Ways to Give Purpose to their Retirement

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “One of the top three things boomers are concerned about regarding retirement, is having a purpose. But biblical and historical stories attest to the spiritual impact of mature adults. Look for ways to engage and redeploy newly retired boomers in world-changing ministry. BTW, @WesleySeminay can help.”

Retired Baby Boomers face emotional adjustments

by Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY, 2/4/15.

The toughest parts of retiring include missing the day-to-day social connections with colleagues (37%); getting used to a new and different routine (32%); and finding ways to give meaning and purpose in their days (22%).

The transition to retirement isn’t always easy, especially the emotional adjustments, a new survey of retired Baby Boomers shows. About two-thirds (69%) say they had challenges adapting to this change in their lives, according to a survey of 1,000 people, ages 60 to 73, who retired in the last five years from their primary profession and who have at least $100,000 in investable assets. The survey was commissioned by Ameriprise Financial.

The toughest parts of retiring include

  • missing the day-to-day social connections with colleagues (37%);
  • getting used to a new and different routine (32%);
  • and finding ways to give meaning and purpose in their days (22%).

Read more at …

AGING & How to Reinvent Yourself After 50 #WesleySem @WesleySeminary #HBR

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Dorie Clark’s best-seller book Reinventing You is filled with stories of people who after the age of 50 – had the most successful periods in their lives. I wonder how many people out there over the age of 50 don’t think they can reinvent themselves, while we at Wesley Seminary are just waiting to help them.”

Read more at …