Move over Millennials– here comes Generation Z. Actually, they have already arrived. So, now, church and consumer research is shifting. We have a generation arriving that doesn’t look anything like the Millennials. So what does this mean? Here are a few things that you might want to know as you watch these young people transition to adulthood.
At the BACE2017 conference, David Odom, member of BACE and Associate Professor of Student Ministry and Director of the Youth Ministry Institute at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary shared his insights into this up-and-coming generation. You can listen to his entire audio presentation below.
Follow David’s audio utilizing his PowerPoint Presentation or download.Connecting with Generation Z
In September of 2017, Facts and Trends published on overview that you will find helpful. Here are the main points.
- They’re everywhere. Gen Z—those born between 1996 and 2014—makes up 24.3 percent of the U.S. population, according to U.S. Census estimates for 2016. That’s more than millennials (22.1 percent), more than Gen X (19 percent), and more than baby boomers (22.9 percent). By 2020, The Washington Post says, Z’s will have about $3 trillion in purchasing power.
- They’ve always been wired. They spend between six and nine hours a day absorbing media, according to a survey from Common Sense Media. Among teens, 92 percent go online daily, Pew Research reports.
- They’ve seen porn. And maybe lots of it. No other generation has had pornography so readily available, literally at their fingertips.
- They’re more accepting of sexual fluidity. Gen Z supports gay marriage and transgender rights. For them, such things are part of everyday life.
- They’re racially diverse . . . and multiracial. Z’s have friends from a variety of ethnicities. And when Z’s get married, they’re more likely than their forebears to wed someone of another ethnic group.
- They’re pretty independent.
- They’re aware of a troubled planet. Most Z’s have grown up since 9/11 and have only known a world where terrorist attacks are the norm.
- They’re justice-minded. Partly because of No. 7 above, Z’s want to make a difference in the world.
- They’re post-Christian. Almost a quarter (23 percent) of America’s adults—and a third of millennials—are “nones,” claiming no religious identity at all, according to Pew Research. Many Z’s are growing up in homes where there’s no religion whatsoever, and they may have no experience of religion.
- They’re open to faith, although only 4 in 10 attend religious services weekly.
THE BOTTOM LINE – First, they are lost. They are not simply living in and being shaped by a post-Christian cultural context. They do not even have a memory of the gospel. The degree of spiritual illiteracy is simply stunning. … [Second], they are leaderless. Little if any direction is coming from their families, and even less from their attempts to access guidance from the internet.