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Gen Z and the Church (part 1?)

August 11, 2014

The discussion for this post comes from an article on Ron Edmondson’s blog, “Coming Soon to a Workplace Near You: Generation Z” in which he summarizes five key characteristics of the young adults born after 1996. As Christian organizations seek to help these adults mature and then connect them to places of service, there are some encouraging signs and of course, some concerns.

The trait I have seen most often so far is GenZ’s willingness to get involved (socially & environmentally aware). In the local church I attend, our high school youth ARE the children’s (ie K-gr 5) ministry program workers. Not only do they work during the school year in this ministry, this summer the similar children’s ministry has run one night a week in a local park in the town, and again it is predominantly staffed by these teenagers. Their enthusiasm for this may also speak to their entrepreneurial spirit.

Some of them have summer jobs (interestingly this doesn’t seem to be a major priority to them like it was for GenXers and even Millenials) but not the majority. It is a huge blessing to the rest of the congregation to see them active in the church’s ministry and it means a major challenge of children’s minstry, finding volunteers, is alleviated. Of course, the spiritual blessings are even more significant and numerous.

Ironically, the major challenge I see for Christian organizations is finding a way to “connect” with these GenZ digital natives as they are exposed to such a flurry of information and may have minimal skills for discerning quality. Consequently, I am going to verbally begin asking GenZ young adults in my sphere of relationships this question. (I’ll let you know if I find any answers…)

 

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