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5 Gen Z Trends You Need to Know About

Gen Z are people who were born between 1997 and 2012. This means they are between the ages of 8 and 23.

They are are growing up in challenging times. A world-wide pandemic, demonstrations against injustice, and an upcoming election that is polarizing. There is uncertainty, fear and challenges. This is the tumultuous world they are growing up in.

Ministry as "normal" may or may not return. It is definitely a time when we should be looking at our ministries and asking the hard questions about the best route to take for ministry in the days, months and years ahead.

Let's look at 5 important trends that you need to know about as you have these discussions and make your plans for the future.

These trends are from the Barna company and represent in-depth research and strategies that can help you navigate what's ahead for us.

1. Gen Z Navigating More Screen Time. The average Gen Z'er uses media for entertainment an average of 8 hours per week. And this was amplified once the pandemic came. Millennial parents and their Gen Z kids have increased their screen time significantly.

Barna's research shows that the majority of pastors (85%) are concerned about this increase of screen time but do not yet have a plan to help families have wise tech usage.

Much of this increase is from Millennial parents trying to keep their Gen Z kids occupied during the day at home. Media has become a handy babysitter for Gen Z kids.

Is this going to be the "norm" moving forward?

Will churches step up and help families decide how much screen time is the best for their family situation?

Once "normal" returns, will the viewing patterns from the pandemic continue?

2. Responding to Injustice.

Gen Z wants to hear the stories of injustice and wants the church to respond and answer the important questions regarding this.

Gen Z is more ethnically diverse and more politically progressive than their elders. Recent data shows that 38% of Gen Z believes we have a race problem and 68% want to address racial injustice in our country.

3. Loneliness and Anxiety.

Even though Gen Z is the most digitally connected generation of all time, they have feelings of loneliness, anxiety and stress. Mental health issues have grown since the pandemic disrupted their lives.

They are searching for connections and are looking to the church for help with this. The church must step up and give Gen Z lots of opportunities to make meaningful connections.

4. Continued Faith Growth.

Research shows that Gen Z is likely to not see church as important. 59% say that church is not relevant to their life. 48% say they find God elsewhere. 28% say they can teach themselves what they need to know.

While 22% have left the faith, 38% are faithful churchgoers.

We must help Gen Z see how important it is to be a consistent church-goer. This will help their faith continue to grow.

5. New forms of outreach and sharing their faith.

Gen Z kids are often hesitant to share their faith. Alarmingly, a poll revealed that 47% say evangelism is wrong.

What they may or may not realize is that sharing their faith is vital. If they will look around, they will see that unbelievers are curious about spiritual matters and are open to having discussions about it.

These 5 trends give us a glimpse into the ever-evolving myriad of ministry opportunities. A great starting point is to sit down with Gen Z kids and listen to understand what they are facing and talk with them about the best says to engage and disciple young people in this day.

Your turn.

Do you see these trends happening in your ministry?

What can we do to effectively minister in the context of these trends?

Share your thoughts with everyone in the comment section below.

Share your thoughts with everyone in the comment section below.

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