The first truly post-Christian generation
Who is Generation Z?
They were small children when the United States was attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001. When the Great Recession hit in 2008, they were old enough to notice the destabilizing effects on their families. They have grown up with the backdrop of mass shootings.
Born between 1995 and 2012, this generation has been raised in a culture of uncertainty, which may explain why they are generally more risk averse than their predecessors.
They are more concerned about debt and less eager to get their driver’s licenses, and they are entering college with less experience with sex and alcohol than previous generations.
This is a quick snapshot of Generation Z — the students our staff have committed themselves to reach on college campuses this fall.
Only 4% of Gen Z has a Biblical worldview (as compared to 10% of Baby Boomers). They are twice as likely to identify as atheist than earlier generations (13% v. 6%). They have been raised in a post-Christian, post-truth world.
This is the challenge and opportunity before us as we begin the 2018-19 school year. The mission field of the university campus is as strategic as ever, and the young men and women studying there are hungry for Good News.
Even though Gen Z are characterized as “digital natives,” turning to Google for answers to most questions and sending more than 100 texts per day, they crave face-to-face relationships.
This is great news, because our staff love spending face-to-face time with students. They are on campus to engage students one-on-one, to encourage them to read the Bible, and to challenge them to become the people God created them to be.
College students need the Gospel, they need the church, and they need a vision for how to serve Jesus with their entire lives.
Please pray for our staff and student leaders as they invite more students to consider the truth of the Gospel and its promise for their lives.
Want to learn more about Gen Z?
Here are some helpful resources:
- New York Times article: The iGen Shift: Colleges Are Changing to Reach the Next Generation
- Barna Group: Atheism Doubles Among Generation Z