Generation Z, knowing the kids in your children's ministry
This week, I read a significant amount of research that has been done on Generation Z, or those who were born after 1995. These are the kids in our children’s ministries throughout the week. I was fascinated by what I found, and I think you may benefit from learning a little bit about how this generation works and thinks as well.
What characterizes the generation that the kids we serve each week are a part of?
- They make up 26% of Americans, which is increasing every day. Generation Z and Millenials actually make up more than half of today’s population. Ideas spread quickly among both groups, which leaves a huge door open for a great spiritual awakening!
- They have been born into an era of technology and knew how to swipe right to unlock before they could walk.
- Social entrepreneurship is one of the most popular career choices, as they have a great desire to implement change in the world they live in.
- They are over-saturated with media, news, and information and can ask Siri any question that they have.
- They worry about cybercrime, their parents’ job security, and the economy.
- More come from broken families than any generation prior.
- 1 in 4 live in poverty, as many families were affected by the recession.
Why does this matter? What does it mean for those of us who are serving and teaching kids each week, and seeking to equip parents to disciple their children at home?
- For kids, technology use in the classroom is a must. A screen is where most kids expect to get their most reliable information as they turn to Wikipedia and YouTube to do research. Use the videos to drive conversation, use apps like GA Spinner or timer apps during games and don’t be afraid to talk about social media. Even preschoolers can experience some technology in the classroom.
- Give them opportunities to serve, and encourage parents to serve as well. Kids need to see their parents serve, and will love getting involved to help. Reminding kids that we want to help meet both physical needs and spiritual needs will keep the focus on Jesus. They want to serve, so help them be doers of the Word.
- Give kids an outlet to ask tough questions to parents and teachers. It is almost impossible to keep kids shielded from the craziness of the world, and they need opportunities for adults to help them understand what is going on.
- They need strong male and female role models. Kids may grow up in a home without one of their parents. Equip leaders to be a godly example and role model for kids.
- Help them understand that they can take their fears and their desires to God and that He is unchanging and for them.
This generation has great potential to be agents of change for the Kingdom! Let’s be faithful workers of God’s field to teach them and equip their parents to disciple them within their homes!