Introducing Generation Z
BY KIM HURTADO
BSF RESEARCH ANALYST
“… we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
His power, and the wonders He has done.” – Psalm 78:4b
I recently asked my son what he wanted to be when he grew up.
Expecting to hear the words “doctor,” “engineer” or “behavioral scientist,” he quickly dashed those hopes.
“YouTuber, mom,” he said. “I want to be a YouTuber.”
It’s no wonder. Last year, a 7-year-old reported earning $22 million from his personal YouTube channel, Ryan Toysreview, where nearly 19 million subscribers watch him unbox and play with toys.
Meanwhile, my daughter burst out laughing as she scrolled through my iPhone pictures and said, “Aww … what a cute old-people selfie!” When I asked, “What’s an old-people selfie?,” she fell on the floor in hysterics.
(Apparently, an “old-people selfie” is a photo of your entire face. Young people intentionally crop out half of a face to make their photography more interesting.)
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Gen Z.
Who is Gen Z?
Gen Z are those born from 1999 to 2015. This generation currently constitutes the largest percentage of the country’s population, eclipsing American Baby Boomers, who held the majority for close to 50 years.
The old order is fading, and the new order is growing.
What do Gen Zers believe?
The U.S. marketing research firm Barna Group says that unlike previous generations, when it comes to religious identity, only 4% of Gen Z have a biblical worldview.
The percentage who identify as atheist – 13% – is double that of all U.S. adults. That may seem like a small number, but Americans are saying, “there is no God” at increasingly younger ages.
According to Pew Research Center, the “nones,” or people who do not identify with any religion, are at the highest percentages in history. This includes 23% of all U.S. adults and 35% of U.S. adult Millennials, a trajectory that Gen Z will continue.
And more than half say that happiness is their ultimate goal in life, which equates to financial success.
What’s influencing them?
Gen Z is the first generation to have been exposed to smart technology and social media from birth. According to Barna, 57% of kids and teens look at the screen four or more hours per day; 26% spend eight or more hours a day on their devices – that’s an entire work day! (My son requires an entire power strip to charge his devices!)
In this digital world and as a result of social media, we have entered the era of the “democratization of influence.” In previous generations, family heritage and upbringing were the top influences in forming a person’s identity. But Barna reports that Gen Z ranks these fifth.
While family, teachers, pastors or coaches used to be the primary voices of influence, we now compete with a multitude of worldviews streamed directly to kids’ devices. This generation is being discipled by their smart phones, YouTube and Google.
This generation is being discipled by their smart phones, YouTube and Google.
As a result, Gen Z is exposed to a false sense of reality. YouTubers often spend hours editing videos to portray a personal brand. On social media, kids are less likely to cultivate meaningful relationships because of an increased pressure to create a flawless, happy, successful or funny persona.
The same technology that was designed to “make the world more open and connected,” which was Facebook’s original mission statement, is helping kids disengage from physical communities and relationships.
Therefore, it should not surprise us that we are seeing an exponential rise in depression and lonliness.
From 2000 to 2016, the U.S. suicide rate increased 30%. Among females, the number skyrocketed to 50%. For teen girls, the number tripled since 2000.
We can help
Surprisingly, Barna research shows that this young generation – whose top priority is attaining happiness and financial success – is willing to ask difficult questions about the meaning of life. The study reports that the rise in moral relativism, or the lack of a strong moral code, arises more from a confusion about truth than an actual rejection of it.
So, this generation is not necessarily rejecting the God of the Bible. They know little about Him.
What an opportunity! In love, patience and understanding, let us help them see the Lord.
Judges 2:10 reminds us that there were consequences when the Israelites failed to instruct their children in the ways of the Lord.
“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10)
Let us not repeat that.
My hope is that God’s Word awakens an excitement to reach the next generation for Christ, instilling a sense of purpose and mission in each and every one of us.
We do not have to know all the answers. We can simply share what God has done for us. Through our time in God’s Word in our BSF studies, we have much to share!
As we look beyond ourselves, let us be willing to engage – not just with our minds and our theology, but with a humble heart, free of judgment. We can have a heart that is willing to say, “I don’t know all the answers. But I know that I love you. Let’s search for the answer together.”
“My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old – things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.” (Psalm 78: 1-7)
The sentence that moral relativism is the absence of a strong moral code, and that confusion about the truth is not a rejection of the truth is very important. This is a helpful article, with the Barna research and Bible verses included to strengthen the platform.
Forgive me for posting one last time on this thread, I am impressed with all the ideas everyone is sharing. With what we went through with our generation Z child, when she was at the school that aggressively taught against the Bible, we went through spiritual warfare. I failed to say, in my previous posts, that I owe a debt of gratitude to BSF, the large group lecture leaders, the small group leaders, the children’s leaders and teachers, and my fellow sisters-in-Christ. Everyone backed us up and supported us in this difficult time. My dear sisters-in-Christ, in my group, showed me that God is bigger than I could ever imagine and I am so grateful. I don’t know how I would have made it without them. Also, even though some might not recognize a need for apologetics, I have noticed that our lessons cause us to think and question. Then in small group, large, group, and in the reading, we learn the answers. I have noticed we are often “front loaded” with answers that we can then use to teach our families. I think some apologetics are imbeded into our lessons even if some think they don’t need them. Thank you BSF.
The following is a long comment. I have been thinking about this for a while.
Throughout history, the proclamation of the Word has changed with technology. What once began as an oral tradition moved through scrolls, books, newsletters and magazines, audio and video.
First, I would certainly continue the current class/group format. It is a blessing to many people.
The latest generation does not get information from books. They generally do not sit for religious lectures or sermons like we may have. However, they do have their media and the ways they digest it.
If I were to add to BSF to meet a modern need, I would develop a web/phone application in which a close group of “followers” were to participate in comment threads about the current scripture. It would parallel the current group discussion lesson plan, but instead of a GL there would be a moderator leader (ML) that would initiate discussions and create daily threads from the daily questions. Groups may need multiple ML’s. Once a week, the followers would get a link to a video lecture, but please call it something else besides “lecture.” The video could be from anywhere in BSF. Lecture sounds too collegiate and like work. It might be better to have daily 2-4 minute videos, the way much content is distributed. The ML’s would have their own parallel discussion thread under a coordinating leader (CL) that would help plan and train for the weekly discussion threads.
The structure should maintain the weekly flow of the in-class participants. However, I do not think there should be a necessity for the thread participants to be connected geographically. They should be allowed to form organically coming in by invitation and their own request. They should be mixed groups if desired. They should be age neutral. The groups would form dynamically. A new “terms of participation” may need to be developed to communicate the understanding of what is acceptable discussion and the limits of dialog. Upon joining, they would be told if there is a class in the area and should be invited to attend lecture if they desire.
The comment thread would be highly interactive with minimal interaction of the ML except to steer the conversation. The ML’s job would be daily and ongoing, but the time needed need not be excessive. People could join the group by invitation, but there would be an understanding that groups would be split if they got too large.
Instead of a reference and a link to scripture, inserting the text into the thread would be preferred (copyright permissions necessary). The participants in the thread should be encouraged to seek outside resources but to limit the thread discussions to the personal thoughts and understanding of the participant. Denominational discussions would be discouraged.
So imagine this. As a participant you would get a notification that your ML has just posted a new discussion thread. You would go to that and see the current discussion and enter into the discussion if you desire. You could set your app to notify you of responses to your posts or new posts in the thread. The heading of all threads is the scripture under discussion. There would be a reference to the scripture for the discussion the following day. The threads would be grouped as they are now with a daily context, a weekly context, and a 30 week study context. There would be open participation in active threads, previous threads would be available for reference but additional comments closed. Future discussion threads to be opened would be available in an outline format.
Comment threads would replace discussion groups. The participation would be closed to group members only and outsiders could not participate. However, there could also be a different type of discussion thread that follows the same calendar format but is an open forum format. Anyone registered at MyBSF could participate and all comments would be viewable by anyone on the Internet. If someone wanted to participate in the open comment threads they would have to join BSF and be part of a small comment group or local discussion group. There may be multiple concurrent threads with ongoing discussion of the current weekly lessons. It may be necessary to further divide the discussions into specific categories such as theological, historical, personal feelings, ministry and so on. Call this the central BSF discussion board and would become our outreach program.
Yes, it is complicated but it mimics discussion boards on many topics already on the Internet. The difference is the calendar based selection of current discussion based on the lesson plan of BSF, one of the great features of BSF.
Properly designed and moderated, this type of app could lead to many new people spending time every day on their phone apps discussing scripture with other believers. That would be a good thing.
Excellent and thoughtful!!!
Thanks for an insightful research. True to the reactions, this thorn is pricking almost every parent of the (Z and you tuber) generation across the globe.
It might be even worse in countries undergoing the technological transitioning at a high rate especially the third world Nations. It has presented a bang and sure confusion. For instance,betting in our country is a real issue causing pain to families in pursuit of financial success and freedom. This is a concern where one stays all night trying their luck and ignoring other important roles. This is a form of technological addiction that might creep to this generation if not arrested or dwelt with in good time. Charity begins at home is a thing to be embraced. If only we get back to our roots and train our children about God. Thanks for the champions of BSF – a huge hope to us that a remnant shall surely remain. God never loses every battle. However, a lot is still needed to be done at this rate. There is no meaning in life apart from God. Its all deprivation and hopelessness. Thank for the efforts BSF is making to reach more and more people. Its answering to this call. Keep the fire burning.
I loved the opening lines of this blog. They made me laugh and I have had similar conversations with my kids! I have three Gen Z children. Our family is constantly discussing technology and the impact it has on us and our society. Technology is a powerful tool that is not going away. It’s influence continues to grow. Each user has to decide how they will use it. When my kids search for information, they are searching for video content to answer their questions. It is a very different mindset and world that my kids are growing up in. It is difficult to relate unless I jump into their world to discover it. I love that BSF sees technology as a way to share the gospel with Gen Z. I think it is a terrific idea. I hope it is developed in time for my kids to participate!
Not only do we need to educate GenZ people about what the Bible says…we must also walk as Christians. So many young people see those who profess the Bible to be hypocritical (not my words, but those of young people today) . We as Christians need to be very careful of turning this generation off, as perhaps we have done with their parents. Speaking the truth in love + walking the talk.
I, along with others, are struggling with Gen X and Gen Z – do we cater to them? If so, with what results? The loss of our older generation who can teach the younger? We have many changes going on right now, but we are leaving out praying the Attributes of God, we are leaving out praying for one another which creates a cohesive group dynamic. We have shortened our meeting times, which is fine, but not at the cost of singing together, and praying for one another. Let’s slow down a bit, and remember the fundamentals of community being solid enough to teach the next generation. Just thinking out loud.
I agree with you, Pat. I am just re-entering leadership & hearing that hymnals are not even provided any more hurts my heart. I would not know a single hymn if not for my years in BSF! All of those “guidelines” helped me become a disciplined young wife & mother. I’d love to know, in light of all of the changes made — that do seem to cater to this generation, if this generation is coming to BSF. If so, are they staying? Are they serving? Is the average age of the BSFer getting younger or still rising? I shudder to think where I would be without BSF. I want for this generation (& beyond!) what I’ve received through this in-depth study of His Word — which involved following guidelines!
Had some of these same thoughts..
Realizing time constraints I also was saddened when we quit singing in leaders meeting. The Bible teaches us the power of praise in song as well as in prayer. I do love the new songs on the MyBSF sight for the preschoolers. These songs can be listened to and we use them during “music time” in class…while being designed to teach Biblical truths to “the children” I find them ministering to me so much. What Is The Purpose Of My Life, is great and I find myself singing it over and over.
Thanks for good lessons God bless you all.
Iam speechless as with my own eyes I saw it coming but I had no strength to stop. My kids are now consulting their internet for everything they dont understand. We were too busy taking care of their physical needs more than spiritual ones. No one to blame. Lets change our focus & be more to God rather than what the world advocates
I can totally understand and I have the same feeling too…. as our time and strength is limited. But pls don’t forget… spiritual needs is as important as physically needs… or even more important… Lez ??????☺️☺️☺️For our next generation!! Xoxo
Gen Z asks difficult questions, in our case, because teachers to peers try to tear down their faith. I found when a youth comes to you asking for an answer, I need to have an answer for the hope I have, but I don’t always have that. The research shows that Gen Z are more atheistic than other generations. We need to be able to help them and our Gen Z kids Biblical youth might need help from time to time with sharing the truth with their friends. Answers in Genesis is having a conference entitled “Answering Atheists.” They are live streaming some of the talks of the conference as follows: (AIG Ken Ham Facebook page & Answers in Genesis YouTube channel)
“Genesis, Foundations, and How to Impact the Culture” (April 17, 1:00 p.m. ET)
“The Bankruptcy of Atheism” by Mark Spence of Living Waters (April 17, 2:45 p.m.)
“The Secret Code of Creation” by Dr. Jason Lisle of the Biblical Science Institute (April 18, 4:15 p.m.)
“Keys to Reaching Atheists” by Ray Comfort of Living Waters (April 20, 1:00 p.m.)
“Learning to Think Biblically” by me (April 20, 4:15 p.m.)
In addition to the above, I turned to AIG’s website and the Got Questions website has Biblical answers to tough questions, too. https://www.gotquestions.org/ I also used “The Big Book of Bible Difficulties” by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. I, too, have heard so many ladies in BSF say that they didn’t need to know apologetics because they had faith. But, if you have a child whose teacher or peers are trying to tear down their faith, a parent prays hard, asks, seeks, and knocks. A parent does not say to their child, “I have strong faith and that should be good enough for you.” By the grace of God, we found the answers to the tough questions and faith was strengthened.
As a Gen X raising Gen Z, I see this as a major problem and a major opportunity. “Surprisingly, Barna research shows that this young generation – whose top priority is attaining happiness and financial success – is willing to ask difficult questions about the meaning of life.” My kids want to tackle hard questions and we do so together. In their groups, they share a lot of what I expose them to through apologetics, other acceptable Christian perspectives and so on. Unfortunately, they have run into dogmatism on nonessentials from well-meaning Christian adults. This has turned them off. Most young people have been conditioned to be skeptical, especially of the Bible. I believe it behooves us to engage their minds and hearts through apologetics and historical and cultural context. I have seen BSF get better at addressing some of this in their notes. I think this information may prove even more helpful in the BSF Children’s classes. I believe it will also help them reach their peers. People have a tendency to fight yesterday’s battles today. Today’s battle I believe comes before we can even open the pages of the Bible. Please don’t hear me wrong. Biblical literacy is extraordinarily important for the disciple of Christ. My story is simply that as a Christian with blind faith, my faith was easy to undo in my Freshman Humanities class. Thankfully, God led me to folks like Ravi Zacharias and his team who reached me through reason and answers relating to life’s experience. That then caused me to dive into the Bible. Since then, I’m on a quest to understand the Bible. Not what I think it means, or what 21st Century Americans think it means, but what was meant by the writers and what the hearers understood the words to mean (to the best we are able to know these things). My kids’ deep and sincere questions about the Bible continues to drive me to look past traditional and pat answers and to be willing to keep learning. You may want to look into the Bible Project on YouTube. These types of media are fast becoming the way Christians and Seekers choose to learn. While there are a growing number of “NONEs” who reject traditional church, I believe there is a large contingency who still embrace The LORD. These young ones need community and I am so glad BSF is looking for ways to reach them even if there are some growing pains in the process!
Praise God for raising concern through the eye of Christ .
Thanks for time and mind invested in this article that may help all of us to take the burden to reach to z gen and most important that we adults may truly reflect Christ that z gen see in us Christ.
Let’s pray not only z gen but all gen in Christ.
Thank you so much for this information on Gen Z. I know little about their characteristics but it make so much sense. I teach adult women and I will certainly share this with them and encourage them to be strong witnesses for Christ and the cause He came for in our class. Is there a way I can get this article only.
Thank for the sharing ! it’s helps us how to think more about the future generation for their spiritual growth.
Thanks for sharing this article. I have attended BSF for 11 years and the last 5 I have attended a womens daytime class that has childcare.
I would like to suggest the daytime class be opened to men and become a co-Ed class for several reasons. (Still same gender small groups, but co-Ed lecture)
1. More guys are becoming stay at home dads, and their kids would benefit from the BSF classes and those dads would find fellowship that us moms are privileged to have during those long daytime hours with little ones.
2. My husband would love to do BSF and would be able to attend during the day but does not attend as he does not like taking too many evenings away from our kids.
What a great suggestion!! I think our community could use this, too.
A lack of church programs and entertainment is not why our youth are leaving the church. Our youth have no relationship with Jesus Christ and that begins at home. Until we focus on fixing that, … How do we ensure that parents pass on the baton of the gospel?
The word of God is the only answer to life’s questions. Facebook is Not! It has some value for some but not for me. In fact, it has caused damaged relationships, isolation and a false sense of connectedness. My young adult children love to spend time face to face with family and friends. As parents, group leaders and teachers, we have to create opportunities and a safe place for Gen Z to express their concerns and ask the tough questions.
Parents are lost, too. They didn’t get the training and therefore can’t pass it on. We need to find or create activities of interest to both groups in the church. Unfortunately, I am not the one. I’m a Baby Boomer. I worked at a daycare last year for 6 weeks and I found the kids most disrespectful but so were their parents. The owner had a relationship with the parents but as one of the teachers that was an outsider to the area I didn’t. This made for a difficult situation. The children didn’t want to come to the daycare to study they wanted to play. I worked with 6-12 year olds and most of them could not read or write. I was scolded for trying to generalize a plan. My focus was to be on their homework but I could only work with one person at a time that left the others unattended. I quit. How do you help when your help isn’t accepted? I wish I had an answer. I am not a conformist and since I’m from an old school I believe in discipline which is greatly lacking. “Train the child…” but if I use this with my discipline I am giving a negative image of God.
As a millennial youth worker and bsfer, I have found the recent BSF study on the Promised Land difficult to justify both to myself and in thinking about how to relate studies to the GenZ kids I work with.
Unfortunately, there are no young adult studies in my city and I am a huge believer in multigenerational church/study communities but I have struggled with the generational gap in understanding.
Millennials as much as GenZ aren’t looking for direct answers but as you said, a willingness to say “I don’t know all the answers. But I know that I love you. Let’s search for the answer together.”
I haven’t found that space in the bsf study I’ve attended. I instead found people meeting my questions with ‘but that’s the Bible.’ I’ve grown up with the Bible and believe in it but I also think that it’s important to have open minded discussions about the tough themes it throws at us.
I encourage you all to consider this when engaging with all people but particularly GenZ and Millennials.
We just want to be seen and our questions to be heard. Not necessarily answered but just heard and validated.
Thank you for sharing, Ash!
I’m a youth worker like you. You’ve correctly pointed out the age and atmosphere in which the youths live in, one which compels us to take into account (and listen to) the multitude of opinions generated by social media. But all the more to stay on track in our mission to present God’s Word as the Only source of Truth amidst the myriads of thoughts cleverly but dangerously masked as truths of the age. Ultimately it’s a spiritual battle for which our dependence on the Holy Spirit is most needed.
Thank you for sharing this insight, Ash. I’m 62 and a BSF group leader, and I’m listening. We have much to learn, too.
Hi Karen G, I am with you on your reply. I am listening too 🙂 and hear God also calling me on this important issue as I learn as well God bless us all and Thank you LORD for your love, encouragement and forgiveness.
Ash, very helpful comments. Most of us want to be seen and heard, whatever the topic. How about a student program on line? I’m almost 67 and look to my device for lots of thing. Zooming our leaders meeting has made a dramatic difference for me in leading a satellite discussion group. I have a friend who has done BSF for years and now does BSF on line and loves it. She was recently telling me about the intimacy of the group. Thankfully, I missed the pressure of the online perfect life and cannot imagine the stress of it all. I had enough trouble without it.
This is a wonderful blog post which is highlighting the perspective of so many of the people in the Manhattan church plant I am helping with . We are messaging to skeptics and finding that when we answer with “I don’t know, but let’s explore together” and we LISTEN to the perspective of those who are questioning that we are seeing people return weekly . They are hungry for a community where they can dialogue openly about big life questions. They are resonating with justice issues which we can help point out was a big part of Jesus’ earthly ministry . By giving them a Christian narrative that incorporates caring for the marginalized and wanting to bring justice and reconciliation into the world’s brokenness we are finding common ground that millenials and those behind them can resonate with.
Ash, i forwarded this blog my own children, born in ’89, ’91, and ’95 , this morning and have already heard from two of them. My youngest highlighted your comments. Thanks for sharing!
I have an 11 year old son and a son who was born in 1999 who tries to convince me he’s a Millennial. The 19 year old had the privilege of attending BSF from the time he was 2, with a few years off in between. He graduated last year and I can’t begin to tell you all the ways the children’s program has benefitted him and developed his strong Christian worldview. The 11 year old is currently attending. More than ever I would like to see a children’s program started at the satellite class attached to my evening women’s class. That community has tons of young families whose mothers would come and bring their kids if it were an option. Praying that God raises up the women who would be willing to take such a ministry on.
Our children’s program at an evening men’s class struggles to get the older kids there. As a starter, let’s rename it the Student’s Program. Referring to adolescents as children isn’t conducive to getting the Jr. High and H.S. students to attend.
What an interesting idea. At the beginning of next term, I will ask my students who are level four STUDENTS, if they would prefer “student ” over “children”.
Thank you for the idea.
Let us know what your finding is.
I am a children’s leader for middle and high school and I agree that renaming it to Student’s Program might remove a negative attached to the developing young men and women who could attend class. I wonder what students might be more willing to attend if they did not think by the name that BSF would be too juvenile. As we know BSF is a rich study of God’s Word and many adults would benefit from attending the children’s program. It would be a minor change that would in no way compromise the program.
Two things. I think preschool program for the young ones, and Students’ program is a great idea! These kids are all about their ‘labels.’ Second, I have been in BSF since 2003, was a GL for three years, became a CL this year. I have learned SO much through the Basic Truth and attributes of God, especially. Things I knew, but couldn’t really put words to. I think letting adults go through at least those parts of the program would be great! I just don’t know how you could do that…
I am 65 years old and I will be a student of the Word upon the Lord calls me home.
All learners are students. All Believers are students of the Master. Yeah for,
Student attending Bible Study Fellowship
Perhaps also allowing high school students to attend regardless of whether they have a registered parent/guardian with them.
Quite a few years ago I was a children’s Leader in an evening class. We called it the school program. I taught all ages over the course of 5 years. “School program” never seemed to turn any of the middle and high school students off.
I’m back teaching pre-schoolers in a day class now. When I invite people, I’m careful to say “pre-school” program. With so many home schooling moms I find that one has rove specific.
Thank you for the great post. I have been an education advocate and lover of God’s young ones for about 25 years. I have followed depression and suicide rates and have watched them go WAY UP for young people at the same time we have had:
1) Social Media and the creation of false hyper-positive self images, as per your post.
2) Excessive screen time and negative cyber comments from people that just would not happen in face to face interactions, and way less positive and real face to face relationships.
3) Parents and Churches that are, in large part, unwilling or unable to teach the Truth.
4) Media, and Hollywood, that promotes an extremely negative, divisive and sinful view of society.
5) Political realm that is very divisive, negative, inept, self indulgent and no longer serving We The People.
6) TAXPAYER FUNDED PUBLIC SCHOOLS THAT INDOCTRINATE, DUMB OUR CHILDREN DOWN, MAKE MANY HATE SCHOOL WITH INSANE METHODS (Common Core, ETC.) and PUSH ANTI-CHRISTIAN, ANTI-CONSERVATIVE VIEWS, and ARE NO LONGER ABOUT TRUTH and EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION.
If you know anything about child development, this all equates to chaos, confusion, negativity, a lack of hope, and a lack of God. I suggest we all home-school and send our children to strong Christian colleges, teach truth at home and take our children to BSF, take our families to a Bible teaching church, turn off the screens and present a positive Christ centered life. We are in this world, but not of this world. Children only get one chance at a childhood and a proper education. I have heard MANY adults say they resent their parents and their churches for failing to teach them properly in the ways of God. God may get them under His wing at some point, but they have had 20, 30, 40 years of suffering by flailing in life without God. We need to stop being afraid to speak truth in our world… people are counting on us…and God is watching…
I am a first grade teacher at a public school in California. Several teachers on our staff are Christians and active in our faith. Every day my students come in contact with the Holy Spirit that lives in me. His grace and love are poured out generously. I feel called to be a “light unto the world” and pray for opportunities to share my faith. With over 10,000 tax-payer funded schools in CA, it’s an over generalization to characterize them all as “anti-Christian, anti-conservative”. Each school has a unique culture and it does make sense to chose wisely through the open-enrollment process, get involved and network with other like-minded parents through the PTO, and offer to teach an after school Bible study at a nearby church or park. (All caps is shouting in text etiquette and it comes across as hysterical.)
Carrie, I use capital letters to emphasize my points when I text. That is what I perceived Tami doing; not being ‘hysterical’. Was it REALLY NECESSARY for you to make that comment? Maybe think outside the box, and take context into consideration when you see ‘all caps’.
I apologize for my comment regarding caps. It wasn’t necessary. I think I was feeling defensive. Please forgive my lapse in judgment.
Amen Tami! Our children are not called to evangelize the public school children or teachers. We are to PROTECT them from evil and harm.
Sometimes a Christian parent has no choice but to send their children to public school but those are few and far between.
I firmly believe that children are interested in the study of God’s word, we adults need to be creative to get their interest. The bible is exciting.
I feel the same, It looks that the older child is not interested in the church or the things of God, but I have found out if you geer Gods word toward the things that interest them, they can be reached. I have finally reached my 15-year-old again and it is great hearing her read the word and the voices she uses when she reads when we are having bible study as a family
Great insight. Wonderful you have reached your daughter! There is not much better in life than watching our children be in with God.
I am thrilled to learn that BSF wants to place increased focus on teaching children for the Lord! So far, the Children’s Program has been amazing… largely because of the partnership between the adult and the child as they learn and study the same lesson each week, I believe. Also the foundation of prayer and prep over every lesson and class have empowered beyond human effort.
Design a new Seminar titled “Reaching the Next Generation.” Include the info regarding increased need for evangelizing GenZ; teach several techniques used by CLs; teach the need to use age-appropriate methods for effective
evangelism; teach ways to use a variety of activities in order to reach different learning styles. This would help equip those who want to increase their abilities with the children they teach/parent.
There are so many ideas for moms, grammas, aunties, to use at home, in the car, throughout the day….ideas on how to grab a moment to make a point about a lesson from God’s Word.
A huge obstacle in our children’s’ lives is public school. The states are saturating curricula with ungodly beliefs. It is very difficult to undo their power over kids’ minds and hearts. It is a spiritual battle equal to Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago when they were forced into the system of Babylonia. With social media plus Hollywood’s immoral influence, God’s people have a daunting mission. Yet, the giants in Canaan were no match for Joshua and Caleb since God was with them. God is with the directors of BSF. Thank you for following His prompting to pursue the hearts of the next generation!!
Many of us are ready to wholeheartedly join the efforts He reveals to you!! God bless your planning!
One of the most effective strategies in reaching Generation Z is SPORTS EVANGELISM. Sport is an effective tool for evangelism and a powerful medium for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Susie Rowan First and foremost I take this opportunity to thank all BSFer’s directors and all staff who have made it possible for us to access the Lord’s word through the BSFer’s fraternity.Congratulation to one BSF search Manager who has empowered us to use the search analysis.The Psalms145 reveal that sometimes in future all people of God will join together in recognising and worshipping God.Because God’s love is unfailing love and God satisfies all those who come to Him in repentance.Pew research center indicates”nones or people who don’t identify in Christian faith are above 57%.Generation Z appear the first generation affected by internet of things.This calls for better management of their time.Clinging to smart phone more than 8hours yet the day hours remains statically at 24hrs including nights.In a nutshell this call for behavior change.This change should be driven and empowered by tenets of Christian greater power of God’s Word. Remember there is no greater power than the power of Gospel.Fear of God is the most valuable resource of wisdom.Proverb 1:7;Psalms78.The prayers continue for us and our children and grandchildren,over and over each generation so that they will enhance their relationship with God Almighty to the fame of Lord Jesus Christ.Amen
I pray that I am strengthened in the Lord to tell the younger generation starting from my children about God’s guidance and protection to His children and share with them our BSF lessons and notes and lectures and encourage them to join BSF to grow closer to God and live according to His decrees
Yes, we really need to bring the children to the king of kings-for in His word He said ‘let the children come to me for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these’.
How to bring them – EVANGELISE to them
I thank the Lord l recently was at a seminar where we were taught to Witness /evangelise to children using THE WORDLESS BOOK ( a book with different colours:Gold/yellow as represents Heaven,
Dark/black – sin
Red-blood of Jesus
White-cleansed from sin
Green – need to grow in Christ)
Just highlighted in brief and its a very powerful tool such that in 10-15 minutes with the Holy Spirit leading, you will have led a child to Lord.
Thank for such a Vision BSF
May the good Lord help us all to stand in the gap.
Yes A – the Wordless Book is an anointed tool provided by our Lord through Child Evangelism Fellowship. I was privileged to lead Back Yard Bible Studies through CEF during the late 70’s and early 80’s. What a joy to witness young boys and girls eager to hear God’s word. Many came to faith in Christ Jesus. Even then however, there was opposition from some parents in the community who tried to suppress Truth from going forth, yet little did they realize that nothing stops God’s Word. I LOVE THE BSF ACTS HEADLINES! UNSTOPPABLE WORD OF GOD! Children are visual and the Wordless Book, the flannel board we used, the figures representing the characters of Scripture remain vivid and dear to my own heart. God bless you Abigirl! God bless all children.
1. The animated Christian PILGRIM’S PROGRESS will be in theaters April 18 and 20. Many of my online group are taking their children to see the film. I’ve already sent emails to many of my own family and friends telling them about the opportunity.
2. I have 2 wonderful young unchurched neighbors, ages 7 and 9, they love me and I love them (and their parents).
Pray with me for the opportunity to ask their parents, or better yet that their parents would ask me, to teach them about our Lord Jesus. The parents are very sweet and thoughtful towards me, yet not open to hearing much about Jesus from me…when I mention Him they are “silent.” I pray for them, but O how I long for them to know HIM!
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
My husband and I were privileged to preview the new Pilgrim’s Progress animated movie that you referenced. It is a wonderful tool to reach children and adults ❤️. Please note that there are some scenes that might be too scary for little ones. Love a sister in Christ Jesus, Cynthia
If you desire to reach children to have a mind and heart towards Christ I would like to recommend the “Good News Club” ministry through Child Evangelism Fellowship. these clubs are non-denominational and are biblically centered with an emphasis on evangelism, Christian growth and Missions. Being involved with teaching in these GNCs will train you to give a clear Gospel presentation and life changing applications in your teaching. I have worked with teens that have been involved in these clubs and their only complaint is that they age out of the club. But then there are opportunities for their selves to be trained and teach in 5 Day Clubs through summer ministry. They defend their faith versus doubting truth.
If we want to reach people of all cultures, we need to get away from using Black to represent Sin. This is EXTREMELY offensive to our brothers and sisters of color and not something that will draw Gen Z children of color.
I agree, sin has actually many colors. I prefer to teach our children about the consequences of sin, so they learn to recognize and fight temptation before sin happens. And this applies to all generations. When Jesus spoke to the crowds, He was sharing the gospel to all generations of His days in the same way.
I’m from Asia. I believe we have failed in our relationships with the members of the next generation. They are smart, they question everything! In Asia we always believed, trusted in the adult family members, teachers as well as relatives and neighbors. Whatever they said was gospel truth. I have checked this out in church. There was a little girl, who reminded me of my younger daughter. I would always make it a point to approach this little girl of may be about 3 years or so and would try to chat with her. I used to tell her that I have 2 dogs at home and that they don’t have any playmates, and that I don’t have a daughter and that I would love to have her as my daughter. I would also ask her whether I could put her in my pocket and take her home with me. Initially she really believed that I could put her in my pocket!! She would hide behind her mom, and the mother would hold her and tell her that I am only teasing her. But her eyes told me that she thought feared that I could put her in my pocket and take her home. This continued for a month or two… and then she started going to Montessori school and her responses changed. Once I can remember her telling me that she would put me in side a balloon and send me up to Mr. Moon and tell him to put me in side a cage and keep me there!! Once I told her about Mr. Moon having a big castle with all kind of pets, toys and food to eat and that it was one of the pleasantest places to be, and that I am going there!! I’m sorry for the long details I’m giving.. But once I told my daughter, aged abt 12 at the time, to tell a client of mine that I was not at home. Later she told me that Iam a fine mother, that I tell her not to tell lies, but for my convenience I get her to lie!! My clients take me for granted and thinks I am there for them for 24 hrs!! I learnt a good lesson from that. I have been sharing this experience with young mothers, since then. I am no longer young!!
Forgive me, but as a “GenX”, our first mistake was to insist on placing everyone in a “generation” and then “generalizing” on them. It is the easy way out, not the way Christ would have us relate to each other, and has helped lead us to where we are now. Each person in our life needs to be ministered to as an individual. That being said, this sounds very much like a few different points in time… seems like the Old Testament describes Israel moving in the same way at a couple of different points in their Old Testament history. Let us hope we become or find our Isiah, Jeramiah, or other profit in the desert soon…. Same human behavior same sin; just different tools.
What wealth from the article on Generation Z and from subsequent comments. I now appreciate more my God given role as mother and grandmother. my eldest granddaughter whom I introduced to BSF at an early age is growing in the love of God. May God help me bring the Zivai Mutsvenechildren in the family to Him so that He may grow them in the likeness of Christ.Thank you BSF.
I am a Director in our Children & Youth Ministry. We are seeking new ways to reach our children and tnis is such helpful insight to what we see and sense but could not understand. While I was searching online for some interesting lessons to share on Easter, I ran across Crossroads Kids Club. The ministry seems unique and exciting. I was not familiar with this Christian group that appears to be a local and digital ministry but I am very impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Their free videos seem to impart the gospel to kids in practical and realistic ways. Because I’m a skeptic and try to be as protective as I can in Christian messaging I am and still in research mode. My question: Is anyone familiar with Crossroads Kids Club?
Great insight ‼️I am a teacher by profession and this article has given a better understanding of what is happening and how I can help. Thankyou
Thank you for this information. My two children are Gen Z. A book I recently read and found helpful is by author Dr. Michael Guillen, whom you may recall is the former ABC New Science Editor and Harvard physics instructor, among other things, and he wrote Amazing Truths How Science and the Bible Agree. I hope this too is one more “tool in the toolbox” to equip Christians to help the youth of America find clarity as they navigate through what they are being taught in schools and universities with the truths from the Bible.
These statistics are terrifying! Yet, knowledge can become power. It makes me astutely aware of how critical it is to reflect the love of God back into our world, especially to those at great risk of missing the importance of keeping our hearts filled with the One Who is the Author of truth!
I am a Christian grandparent and have recently taken courses through my church on “Extreme Grandparenting” and “Grandparenting Matters”. Both have the focus of being an “intentional” Christian grandparent. This article about Generation Z, of which both of my grandchildren were born in, is EXCELLENT! It contains information that motivates and gives me an additional reason to be informed and to be a Christian influence in their lives. The statement that “This generation is being discipled by their smart phones, YouTube and Google” is profound, as is the scripture passage from Psalm 78. Thank you BSF for bringing this to our attention and reminding us that we cannot let what happened in Judges 2:10 happen to our young people today.
we must do what we can to share the Gospel as commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ.
in love and faith led by the Spirit of God
Thank you for the insight, I am a Grandmother of 5, so, I agree in all that you said, it is true. But with God help we can do day by day something good for them, God Bless all of you BSF staff and members. We will continue praying for the future no only of this country but that this county will be a blessing to the world.Love you.