This generation of young people—known as Gen Z—was recently referred to as the “revival generation” by evangelist Shane Pruitt, who seems to express a hope that the Lord is moving among this generation.
Amid this hopeful note, we also see that Gen Z faces significant challenges, too. They are growing up in a digital age, which offers continual distraction and destructive content.
Moreover, according to an American National Family Life Survey, “the majority of Millennials and Gen Z did not grow up attending church weekly.”
From this spiritual vacuum of church life, a whole wide array of harmful ideas and habits have crept in, which is discussed at length in a new Lifeway book, “Flip the Script.”
The book says, “Not only do 34 percent of Generation Z identify as religiously unaffiliated, they are also more likely to identify as atheist or agnostic than any other generation.”
Gen Z feels that the truth that “‘Jesus is the only way’ seems intolerant. They challenge that the biblical teaching about binary gender is bigoted and unsafe. They refer to ‘my truth’ rather than ‘the truth.’”
The book argues we must adapt, not truth, but our outreach to reach this Gen Z generation with the Gospel. Like a good missionary studies the culture in which they serve, “we need to identify different starting points (with Gen Z) that help kids and students connect the felt needs they are experiencing as a result of their secular worldview to the message of Jesus.
“… Jesus offers the only identity that isn’t based on human whims or performance. Jesus offers an identity based on His character and His work on the cross.
“When we recognize the waters that kids and students are swimming in, and learn to meet them in the fishbowl, we create opportunities for them to feel heard, understood and receptive to what we have to share. A starting point like this lays the foundation for kids and students to be open to hear the Gospel.”
The challenge in reaching Gen Z can be overwhelming. Thankfully, visionary leaders with Oklahoma Baptists and churches across this state already realize these trends and are making headway at Falls Creek and elsewhere.
While the challenges are real, with God, all things are possible. He desires ‘who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth’ (1 Tim. 2:4). That includes you. That includes me. That includes Gen Z.