Insight #7: Gen Z Will Likely Continue the Trend of ‘Attending Church’ Less
Today’s pastors have undoubtedly noticed that “practicing Christians” are only attending church approximately one Sunday each month. This trend is very likely to continue with members of Generation Z.
Their lives will tend to be quite over-scheduled, with other personal priorities being more important to them than regular church attendance and involvement. Plus, Gen Z does not possess an innate loyalty to any particular church or church function. This practice will necessitate that pastors employ the use of modern technology to communicate regularly and successfully to them.
Insight #8: Gen Z Still Benefits from Inter-Generational Connections
This generation is being forged by two seemingly conflicting pressures. As mentioned earlier, they are more likely to grow up in households without consistent parental influences, and they appreciate the influence of significant older adults.
Their lives have been lined by a litany of coaches, teachers, youth workers, small group leaders, and other caring adults. Of course, churches must always continue developing and instituting carefully-crafted child protection policies that safeguard kids from sinful adult predators. However, today’s teenagers and young adults will profit greatly from the influence of Godly older adult mentors.
Gen Z’s emerging adults are not likely to commit to a church’s adult ministries unless they have formed growing relationships with a variety of Godly adults in the church prior to their graduation from high school. The practice of segregating and isolating young people from other generations has helped fuel their departure from the church following their years in high school.
Churches will need to restructure their programming efforts to balance peer ministries with growing inter-generational connections for Gen Z.
The American church is indeed facing a seismic shift as members of Generation Z move through adolescence into adulthood. Business as usual will not work. Pastors will need to “retool and rethink” their approach to ministry programming to be effective with today’s emerging adults.
Gen Z is here!
(Editors, Barna Group) Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation. Barna Group & Impact 360 Institute, Ventura, CA, 2019.
(Twenge, Jean M.) iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us. Atria Books / Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2017.
Mel Walker is the president of Vision For Youth, Inc., an international network of youth ministry, and he is also is the youth pastor at Wyoming Valley Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Mel has been actively involved in various aspects of youth ministry for over 40 years. He is also an author, speaker, and a consultant with churches. More information about his speaking and writing ministry can be found at: www.GoingOnForGod.com. Mel has written 12 books on various aspects of youth ministry, plus he speaks to hundreds of teenagers and parents each year. Mel & Peggy Walker are the parents of 3 adult children – all of whom are in vocational ministry. You can follow him on Twitter: @vfyouth.
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