This has been the question that has consumed my thinking for the past few weeks. Starting next week, I will be teaching a class at our church called Raising Generation Z: examining the technology, sexuality, and spirituality of this rising generation and what parents and church’s role and response should be. (Something like that)
There has been countless words spoken and written about the millennial generation. And this has shaped how we currently do youth ministry as well as how we are currently doing church. I think this is a good thing, primarily as the millennial generation is aging and becoming significant leaders. And I am willing to be that most, if not all youth workers these days, (Except for Tom Pounder) are in the millennial age bracket.
What is unique about student ministry is that, at its core, it is a cross-cultural ministry to a completely different generation. Most people miss this and just put their thoughts, desires, passions, and perspectives onto a younger generation. This works, but what works even better is taking a step back, differentiating ourselves from those whom we minister, understanding their worldview, their issues, and then craft a ministry style, that cares for them where they are currently living.
Well, the current grouping of students populating our student ministries is a brand new generation. They have an entirely different worldview and temperament from their millennial leaders. And if we do not spend some time understanding them apart from our own perspectives, we will miss them.
For the next three weeks, I will be diving into a class that will take a look at this cohort of students and will gladly share my notes when I finish. But as I start to put the final pieces together, I would love to croudsource from this little youth ministry community and hear about what books, articles, youtubes, you have found helpful in understanding this grouping of students.
I can't wait to hear from you!
May God truly give us wisdom and insight as we seek to care for this new generation so we can find as many on-ramps to Jesus as possible and love them well, right into the Kingdom of God.