Gen Z — they’re the socially and technologically empowered teens of today, and reaching them with the Gospel has proven to be no easy task.
35% of youth in the U.S. believe the Church is irrelevant or hypocritical. And for the teens that do identify as Christian, Barna states 75% of them read the Bible only once a month or less.
So, how are we going to engage this group with the Gospel in a relevant way? We can start by knowing who they are and what’s most important to them.
Who is Gen Z?
Young people today are in pursuit of who they are in a pluralistic world of competing ideals. Even more, they are challenged to navigate this journey without a true point of reference, which can only come from God’s Word. In this present day and culture, the Church is grappling with how to equip young people to discover Truth.
Teens have technology intertwined in their daily lives, being the first generation to be called ‘social natives’ who grew up on social media. And equality is emerging as Gen Z’s non-negotiable value, the cause they are willing to take a prominent stand to support.
Knowing this helps us be intentional about the way we engage Gen Z with God’s Word. The uniqueness of this generation should compel us to think about youth ministry differently.
This is why we are excited to announce a new Open Network partner dedicated to seeing youth ministries succeed in raising up the next generation of Christians: Feed. Feed is a community of youth innovators who envision new ways of thinking and doing youth ministry tailored to the unique characteristics and needs of Gen Z.
Feed engages youth with relevant and relatable Scripture material through open and honest dialogue. Designed by and for the local church in partnership with OneHope, Feed is rethinking youth ministry by addressing the specific needs of today’s youth in a way that is relatable and relevant.
Terry Parkman, Next Gen pastor at River Valley Church, said, “Feed is a huge step forward in discipling students who live in a globalized world that’s based on what’s new and what’s next on social media.”
If you’re looking for ways to engage your youth in open conversations, download their Catechism PDF, which offers biblically sound answers to 70 common questions that teens have about the Bible, like “Why am I alive?” and “How can I know God?”. Then, download two curriculum packages, Our Hope and God’s Promises. Each with four lessons, these units specifically address several of the major questions teens have about Scripture.
We’re so grateful for these resources—and more coming soon—that will help you reach your teens with God’s Truth. Special thanks to Feed and OneHope for partnering with us to help equip and encourage your ministry to raise up the next generation of Christians.
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