Entrust Equipping Leaders
Tricia and Jeff: what do we need to know about boomers, millennials and generations beyond?
August 18, 2023
Tricia Lambert and Jeff Hurtak of Entrust help us begin to understand generations from Boomers to Gen Alpha, their values and needs and how each generation might wisely serve upcoming generations.
Todd Randall [00:00:04]: Welcome to a fascinating new episode of Entrust Equipping Leaders. Today, we're talking about generations from baby boomers to millennials to generations X, Y, Z, even Alpha. Host Laurie Lind launches the discussion by asking guests Tricia Lambert and Jeff Hurtak to introduce each other. 
Laurie Lind [00:00:28]: Trisha, would you introduce Jeff to us and then, Jeff, maybe you could introduce Tricia. 
Tricia Lambert [00:00:33]: So Jeff is now on our curriculum team. He came about a year ago. He just finished going to seminary, he and his wife, she went as well. And so they have a strong interest in education and especially classical education. So that's a rich thing that Jeff brings to our team. He lives in Lubbock, Texas. He likes fish, he has a lot of fish tanks at his house. So there's Jeff. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:01:03]: Tricia is our supervisor on the curriculum team. She also serves an Equipping Women and a couple other hats, kind of a lot of hats. But she leads our team well, and, she is from Texas, but she lives in Colorado Springs now. And so, we have that in common. She also was a classical school teacher so we've talked about that a couple times. So she just leads us well and is committed to the values of Entrust. 
Laurie Lind [00:01:32]: And you've both mentioned something about classical education or classical school teachers. So just briefly, what do we mean by that? 
Jeff Hurtak [00:01:44]: It's just a it's a teaching pedagogy, that follows just a little bit different structure than one that is normal in America, a lot of it's dealt with, just rote memorization to understanding the why to high school being more about being able to talk about and dialectically talk about different subjects. So students typically are leaving classical education with the ability to not only know information but think about information. And so it's just something that me and my wife are very interested in. So we tend to cling to those types of education opportunities. 
Laurie Lind [00:02:23]: So then in Entrust, we're a little bit different. I guess we would we call ourselves classical educators or non classical? 
Jeff Hurtak [00:02:32]: I think I think classical education is more at the, like, the student, like, the young student level. So it goes from a to high school. There's some college, classical education colleges, but I think what we have in common with classical education at Entrust is our ability to we call it in in classical education called Socratic method, the ability to ask questions, which if we take any of our courses, you understand that we're all about question asking and allowing the student to drive education in in that in that way. I mean, with class of education, there there's, changes in age. Right? So every age is teaching different, but we still have those same patterns of Socratic method, the ability for the student to lead the conversation without necessarily having a teacher stand up in front of them in lecture for a while. 
Laurie Lind [00:03:23]: Okay. Good to know that and as you say, it changes with age, and we are getting into age a little bit as we talk about generations who are all adults but vastly different. I know I'm pretty sure I'm one of the I'm not even young, but I'm one of the youngest of the baby boomers. If that generation is defined as born between 1946 and 1964, then, yes, I'm right at the end of that 8 year. So I'm a I'm a boomer. May I ask you both which generation you land in. 
Tricia Lambert [00:04:01]:  So I would also be a boomer. 
Laurie Lind [00:04:03]: k. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:04:04]: And I fall at the younger end of Millennial. 
Laurie Lind [00:04:08]: Okay. So baby boomer is 46 to 64. What are the rest of the delineations of all these next categories? 
Jeff Hurtak [00:04:17]:  Gen X is gonna be after boomer and then millennial and then Gen Z and then Gen Alpha, which is new. 
Tricia Lambert [00:04:27]: The Gen X is typically said to be between 1965 and 1980. And then the millennials would pick up in 81 and go through 96. And Z would be around 97 to 2012. And then our Gen Alphas, our youngest kids right now, and they're from 2013 to 2025. So they are almost all here, but they're still being born. 
Laurie Lind [00:04:58]: Some of them aren't even here yet as we speak in 2023. Yeah. And we'll have a new category after that yet again. 
Tricia Lambert [00:05:05]:  It will be Beta. They're just kinda going through the Greek alphabet. So they have those generations defined and also Gamma would be the following that. The years can shift a little bit because there's cultural influences that kind of give us some guidelines on when these generations take place. 
Laurie Lind [00:05:22]: It is interesting it seems as though the generations are getting, narrower in terms of the year span. Right? Yes. 46 to 64 was a few decades, but it's less and less time for each generation now. 
Tricia Lambert [00:05:37]: Yeah. 
Laurie Lind [00:05:37]: How do then, like, say millennials gen x and z and who you mentioned, how do they all learn, or what are the differences in how they learn? 
Tricia Lambert [00:05:47]: I'll let Jeff speak first since he is a millennial, then I'll tell him who he is. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:05:54]: Yeah. when you think about, just like gen like, millennials gen z, we're seeing a shift of really a shift in, like, what is the purpose behind the learning? Right? It's no longer and it and not that this is all that was happening with Boomer and before that, we do see a shift of, like, I'm gonna learn what I need to learn to do what I need to do. Right? So, That's why we see some students a lot of times not lean towards certain subjects. They lean towards just the ones that they think will practically work for them. we see this a lot in millennials. that's why we have a lot of, like, trade school shifts, things of that nature, students leaving traditional education to seek other types of education, with millennials and Gen Z's just that exacerbated, right? They are, what we call the king of the side hustle. Right? They're they want to find 10 different ways to do what they need to do. and that's their focus. So they no longer need traditional education to do it. Right? and so, yeah, I would say, like, the main difference between Boomers and those younger generations X is a little differ difficult because, they don't get much, they they're between 2 very strong generations. And so they're a little quieter. and so typically, as soon as we started shifting things towards Gen X, millennials hit, and everything changed. they say millennials main motivation safety most of the time. And so trying to be safe, not safe, but, like, trying just to be okay. And so we're just trying to figure out, what we need to learn, right, and what will actually impact us. So do I need to take certain things that I won't ever use, or should I just take things that I know I will use? that's my understanding interpretation. Right? everybody has a different interpretation of the generations just because the millennials hall might have same motivation, we all show that motivation in different ways. 
Tricia Lambert [00:07:57]: Right. It's really hard to paint a broad brushstroke that encaptures everybody in any generation. So I think you got major influence on that shift between how we used to learn what I was calling traditional and newer generations is the philosophical difference now, we're in a postmodern age. And so I think that has played a key role in some of the reasons why there's been this cultural shift. 
Laurie Lind [00:08:26]: And then when we think about these generations and we, again, we don't stereotype and everybody's different and maybe fuzzy border lines. but do you think these generational qualities and characteristics transfer across cultures too. 
Tricia Lambert [00:08:44]: So we, have a gal on our curriculum team who was if I get this right, born in Uganda, or was she born in Kenya? 
Jeff Hurtak [00:08:52]: She was born in Kenya, but married. 
Tricia Lambert [00:08:56]: Okay. So she's really familiar with those 2 particular cultures. And we asked her that question because she has children who are Gen Z. She has 1 in Gen Z and 1 in Gen alpha. and what was she experiencing both in her own children, but also in those cultures that she's familiar with. And she said that where they're dealing a lot with the same issues. And I think that's because we have such a global culture now. So I think the impact is a little less, on them. But we've she's seen at least a lot of the same things that we're struggling with here, that they are that young people are struggling with in her cultures as well. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:09:35]: Really, we see the world changing in 2008. We start seeing first iPhone come out. We start seeing the first global, you know, I think Facebook is coming out around that time. major elections were happening during that time. I it was just a a changing world in 2008. And from that point, we've came a global. It's the same way that TV changed the Vietnam war. Right? Like, it changes everything when you see everything at an instant. And so you're probably not seeing as much change in countries where it's closed, or where they're filtered, or censored. Right? But in the countries where we're not having as much censorship, probably gonna see the same type of thing that we're seeing in America with the generations. I do wanna make the comment that, you know, our typically, our generational the, you know, the way we view generations is usually before they're adults. Right? so, the immature millennial versus the mature millennial. They we see a big shift in millennials once they become adults. They learn responsibility. They learn these types of things. And so I think first off, I think we have to remember that, that we're gonna see a shift in Gen Z and it's gonna come within the next like, 3, 4 years because a lot of them are entering the workforce now. and, a majority of the workforce will be millennial in just a couple years, if not all of it. You know? and so, all of it being loosely turned that, you know, never percent. But. So I did wanna make that comment before we think about it, you know, we shouldn't be fearful of millennials being in leadership positions because of the way we solve them as kits. Right? Cause we had a lot of issues as millennials as kits. We, you know, we also went through a lot. But, Yeah. So that's the way I try to think about it with leadership. I think we have to remember that they're different than they were when we came up with these categories. And that will help us respect, leadership that are that is younger more, understand that they're maturing just like we, you know, and I'm saying we, but I'm one of them. Right? That's maturing still. because we don't mature until, like, 35. Right? No. so I'm making a joke. 
Laurie Lind [00:11:57]: I don't suppose I don't think I've matured yet. I'm still hoping it's. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:12:04]: Yeah. Yeah. Right. But, yeah, so I think just to start off, like, remembering that they're not who they were when we gave them these categories of generations. Like, they're different, and they've grown into them. 
Tricia Lambert [00:12:17]: We did a little exercise at our team meetings where we pulled in Gen Alpha slang words and to see who could figure out what they meant. So that was fun.  
Laurie Lind [00:12:28]: What were a few of those just for fun?  
Tricia Lambert [00:12:30]: SUS, what's is it what SUS? Is that how you say it?  
Jeff Hurtak [00:12:36]: Yeah. It’s like suspect. Like, that that's I don't there's something wrong with that. So, like, there's something going on there. Okay. 
Tricia Lambert [00:12:46]: I'd have to look at my notes. I don't really remember. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:12:51]: Yeah. There is like you know, sleigh, which is just like you're killing it there's couple that have changed. right? Like, so something I would have said means something completely different now. 
Laurie Lind [00:13:04]: Is Groovy still in?  
Tricia Lambert [00:13:09]: Only because I still say it, but, no, it is not in. 
Laurie Lind [00:13:13]: We're gonna start and I mean, all of our fashions are back in style. We had to bring all of our slang back. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:13:18]: I think it will, actually. I think you'd be surprised that it'll come back maybe for a month maybe for, you know, so -- Yeah. -- it can be a word that becomes important for just a couple months, and then it's gone. So – 
Tricia Lambert [00:13:31]:  No cap.  
Jeff Hurtak [00:13:33]: No cap. That's the other one. Yeah. 
Laurie Lind [00:13:35]: What does that mean? 
Jeff Hurtak [00:13:36]: That's like, like, I'm not lying that that's if you say no cap, you cannot tell a lie. You have to say the absolute truth. It's like a sacred word. so Yeah. So if a kid ever tells you that, like, they're probably telling you the truth. Does that mean they are because their sinners probably not all of that. But yeah. But, yeah. 
Tricia Lambert [00:13:59]: BOP is BOP is another one.  
Laurie Lind [00:14:01]: And what's that?  
Tricia Lambert [00:14:02]: A really good song. 
Laurie Lind [00:14:03]: I'm learning a lot right now. Yeah.  
Tricia Lambert [00:14:10]: Someone might flex. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:14:12]: Flex. Yeah. That's been a that's been popular for a couple generations.  
Laurie Lind [00:14:17]: Oh, good heavens. What does it mean? I still don't know.  
Jeff Hurtak [00:14:19]: Like you're showing off. It's like, you're showing off. So you're flexing. 
Laurie Lind [00:14:24]: Okay. Okay. 
Tricia Lambert [00:14:26]: Another one they might say is mood. 
Laurie Lind [00:14:29]: Yeah. How do you spell that?  
Tricia Lambert [00:14:32]: m o o d, m o o d,  
Laurie Lind [00:14:32]: mood, and what does it mean now? 
Tricia Lambert [00:14:36]: the same here that they've they're sharing your perspective or what you wanna do, that kind of thing.  
Laurie Lind [00:14:45]: Okay. Well, there we go. We're learning. There you go. Yeah. Hopefully, everybody. Right? So let's talk about that. Older and younger, again, all of us, whether we work for Entrust. But as Christians, we do want to be, as Paul told Timothy and second Timothy 2:2, the things you've learned from me entrust to faithful men and women, who will teach others also. The process of discipling, equipping next generations. I mean, that's in the old teach your children as you go along the way, how can we just be conscious as whatever generation we are of what are good things to keep in mind for really investing well in a generation younger or 1 or 2 or 3 generations younger, especially as followers of Jesus. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:15:31]: I mean, relationship is the biggest one. they don't I I know it's like a phrase we use a lot. Like, they don't they don't care about what you have to send so they know how much you care type thing, but really, if you don't have a relationship with them, they don't care about what you have to say. So be genuine, be sincere, like, really -- -- and be available Right? Be willing to mentor. they love they actually do love mentors, but it has to be somebody of value to them. And so if you're not a value to them, it what you have to say won't really stick, you know, And I think one thing that we have to keep in mind is that as the generations go, they get more spiritually open. So Gen Z is the most spiritually open generation there has ever been. The only issue is spiritually open means they're open to everything. right? And so anything that makes their faith better more, you know, more effective is good. So if that means that they wanna pull in things from Buddhism, into their Christianity, they will do so. and so you have to be careful with, you just have to be available to tell them what the truth is. but you have to care first and really generally care, not just care for their soul, right, not just so you can win their soul type thing, but, so that you just care about them, and spend time with them. 
Tricia Lambert [00:16:54]: One of the things that we've, noticed in equipping women is in mentorship, They do really like mentorship, but it's a little more specified. So maybe they come to you with questions about family and children. but they might go to someone else on an issue of faith. And so, I think as older generations, we need to be willing to adapt to that. Entrust because they're not asking us questions in that one arena, doesn't mean they don't appreciate the area they are asking us questions about. So that fluidity is something I think we have to become a little more used to really come alongside the younger generations. 
Laurie Lind [00:17:36]: And is it good to, as a quote, older person approach someone who's younger who we already have some relationship with and say, hey, Let's start getting together, or is it better to wait for the younger one to come to you and say, hey. I wanna learn from you. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:17:54]: I think it's a difficult question. right? I think each kid is gonna be different with that. like, some of my students, I say, hey. Let's go out to coffee. Right? And they can say, I don't have time for that. And they'll let me know, or If I know that they're canceling on me, they're probably not interested. because if they're willing to go to another commitment over your their commitment to you, that means that's more valuable. to none. And then that's where you just gotta suck up the pride a little bit and she's like, this is just not where the lord has in in that relationship. so you can do it that way. I think if a student comes up to you, that definitely jump on that opportunity, right, because that doesn't happen often. Yeah. I mean, I asked my student this yesterday. I was actually lunch is one of them. And I said, what could I do better? And he says, I think you could crack more jokes with us at the beginning of the school year. Like, you'll be a little bit more lenient. you know, which as a teacher, you're told to not be lenient the 1st couple weeks. You have to be strong. But to them, they're like, if you're more lenient with us, we're gonna like you a lot more. You know? So you're just kinda like, what what's going on here? You know? And so, you know, something's so simple. just cracking some jokes with us. Like, even though it's a serious moment of teaching, like, crack some jokes with us, you know, feel you know, feel more comfortable with us, 
Laurie Lind [00:19:14]: and we'll feel more comfortable with you. So -- And I like what you said, what you did. Also, you showed humility and saying, hey. How can I be better? How can I be a better friend or help or mentor to you? That's a humility and an excellent question maybe to ask someone who's younger than you. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:19:32]: Yeah. You gotta be careful. but it can it can be. Right? You don't wanna show up and start saying that to every kid because then they're like, This guy doesn't know anything. So you also wanna be careful. 
Tricia Lambert [00:19:44]: I think it is helpful to read about generations, and I'm not sure that I have any particular book that comes to mind, probably also articles are a good source. But So you need to read to understand the generations at the same time, not holding any given person to those characteristics, right, because we're all individuals. But it does help to understand the general things about them. And then you can see how that person reflects those and doesn't reflect them. I think also we need to understand truth well and be able to articulate what is truth and why it's important. because there has been that shift in, everyone has their own truth now. And why is that not a biblical idea? And what does scripture have to say in relation to that. So if we want to be able to influence younger generations, we've gotta be able to talk around that and under stand what they're dealing with, why they might think that. You know, I could I could just say, you know, kind of wave my hand out of them and say, you guys are hopeless. or I can come alongside of them and begin to challenge their understanding. And one thing they will look for is am I living out the truth I proclaim? Mhmm. And that's a real important aspect, which is good. The accountability for me is that that's a great thing, right, to be living out what I say I believe. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:21:08]: I think I think the generations today have gotten better at reading people and reading if you're if you're saying a bunch of they don't care about the it's not that they don't care about truth. It's that they don't care about truth if you're not living that truth out. So if we're not living correctly, they're not gonna care about what we have to say, or if we're not living in conjunction with it. And I think this is gonna be a lot tougher for American believers, because we have so many liberties in America already, we don't quite understand the depth of some of the that we talk about. I think, yeah, I I'll Entrust reiterate what Tricia said. like, we know general things about generations. and we can't attribute those to every one of them. But what we can focus on is motivation. and so how can we, contextualize and bring truth to their motivation. right? And so that could be safety. That could be, the world. And we just have to think about the motivations behind what they do, because each one's a a mature Christian millennials gonna be a lot different than a non mature non christian millennial or even a mature non christian millennial. So it just everything changes, depending on what their world view is, all those things.  
Tricia Lambert [00:22:32]: And I think speaking to their values, culture, I mean, each generation has some cultural values that they hold to. and understanding what those are and learning how to, articulate how the gospel speaks to those. and how the gospel is the answer to the things that they're longing for. 
Laurie Lind [00:22:47]: And we're gonna find those values by looking around online, reading articles, reading books, about these different generational groups. Talking to them. Right. Talk to them. Listen to them. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:22:59]: I would even if you're not interested in it, just let it go. Like, move on to somebody else to, you know, somebody will be so if it's something you're not interested in, that you're not really you don't really care about, and it's something that they care about, they're gonna know that you don't really care about it, even if you pretend to engage in You know? and so that's the hard part is, you have to be genuine in your interest as well because then it's just you faking it until you get them to do what you want them to do. It's to them, it's manipulation. It's not it isn't. but to them, it could be that way. And so you gotta be you have to be genuine.  
Tricia Lambert [00:23:45]: One idea that I'm thinking about is this whole idea of influencers. You know, that's a big cultural change for us is to see you know, you can spend hours on TikTok or, even Facebook, they come up now on Facebook of people that are, you know, the 20 best products to buy at Amazon or, you know, how to dress, you know, there'll be someone on that. And it's like, I wonder what's in there that we could tap into as we look at these other generations because the influencer idea has taken root. Right? So I don't know. I mean, I've just started thinking about that, so I don't have any answers yet. I'll be sending an email to Jeff to think about this. How can we do this, Jeff? 
Laurie Lind [00:24:33]: Like, seeking to position Entrust as an influencer on like Christian practices or something along those lines or? 
Tricia Lambert [00:24:42]: I don't know that I'm seeking to put us in that position, but it is true that we may have something to say. And how do we say it? You know, we can perhaps I don't know. It's a little mysterious at this point exactly how we'd use it. I think if we tried to put Entrust in that role, that would be an authentic. But I do think there's some aspects of that that is worth thinking about. Jeff will help me. 
Jeff Hurtak [00:25:14]: We're not in social media, I mean, so we might not be the right people. But -- 
Laurie Lind [00:25:19]: There's a question, though, too. So We think these younger generations, all they do is just live in social media, but I know more and more people like you, Jeff, who say, oh, no way. I don't even I don't go there. I'm not on Instagram. I'm not on Twitter. I'm not on TikTok. I mean, so is that a trend as well away from social media to some extent? 
Jeff Hurtak [00:25:39]: I think it might just be personal views. It's just personal. Like, we just don't enjoy it. and we have an inclination to be absorbed by it. And so it's part of our, I think, in our, cycle maturity, maybe, that we just are trying to limit that time, but I'm a big YouTube person. So I'm working on limiting myself on YouTube right now. You know? So it's kinda like I'm I'm not involved in the Facebook that but I am involved on YouTube a lot. So it's just kinda learning those types of things you have different inclinations. I don't enjoy being a product. I'm guessing you're not the only one in your generation. Yeah. I I think there's more awareness right now. So I think a lot more people are leaving social media for that, but but gen zers are not.   
Tricia Lambert [00:26:30]: Well, it's interesting even as we look at millennials. So millennials actually, this is just with technology. And for some reason, this fascinates me. Millennials did use DVDs. You know, that's how they got their movies. they had dial up internet, you know, so you couldn't be on the phone and the computer at the same time. Their first phones were flip phones. So, you know, they did phone calls. They did texting, but they didn't have all the internet access. You know, and so but they still are very savvy and can do intuitively get around digital devices. Right? but we call them, or the gen z or though, their devices were all handheld. They were mobile. You know, so I have some gen z, like, they don't own computers, per se. Like a personal computer, like I do, they have It's all on their phone, and they do everything on their phone. And, they're more what we call mobile natives. You know, so you've kind of seen a shift even in the generations these 3 younger generations of how they use technology and what they're familiar with. And then alpha have never they don't know a world without internet, without a smartphone. So those are the are kids, so yet to be discovered what that looks like as adults for them. But, there's been a lot of shifting, even in those 3 younger generations of how they use technology and what they're just automatically wired to do. 
Todd Randall [00:27:54]: You've been listening to a dialogue Jeff Hurtak, Tricia Lambert, and Laurie Lind about generations, each with its own characteristics and strengths and needs. If you haven't subscribed to this podcast yet, do that today so you don't miss the next episode when Tricia and Jeff get into the spiritual status of various generations. How might we all be more informed, more intentional, and more prepared to serve upcoming generations their spiritual needs well. Get ideas next time on Entrust Equipping Leaders.