Session 2: How Generation Z Will Shape the Future
This was our second session this afternoon and had a focus on understanding Generation Z which are those under 20. This can also be called the digital generation. Taking time to understand them is important. Here are some key thoughts from this session.
What are some things that make this generation unique?
• They are the I-Generation (iphone, ipod, ipad, etc.)
• They are used to communicating digitally and are VERY good at it.
• They are used to two-way communication; interactive and participating back and forth
• Very in tune to being “sold-to”
• Access to infinite information via google, siri, or Alexa
• Shooting and editing videos is common – they are good at it.
• They more than other generations can “start” things and impact the world (young entrepreneurs – they see on Shark Tank, America’s Got Talent, etc.)
• They are globally aware – both with the good and the bad.
• They younger children can carry stress about world evils and tragedies – hard to differentiate what is a threat at home vs what happens in the world around them
• Interested in individuality – they can have a platform on a world audience and look to stand out in that crowd.
What are some things to work well with this generation?
• Take time to listen and learn from them. Don’t just “deal” with them.
• Take time to teach them to use the tool of the smart phone to their benefit and also point out real cautions.
• Don’t replace people interaction with screens – engage them and get to know them.
• This generation will help us connect globally as a church. They are used to interacting with the global community.
• Don’t over parent or over protect your child. Allow them opportunity to wrestle through and work through life challenges.
• Be careful not to communicate “be safe” to create fear of living in a youth. Rather encourage them to “Be bold!” Encourage them to be strong in the Lord.
The big take away from this was a focus on “Relational Relevance” vs “Cultural Relevance” My understanding of this point was to focus on developing meaningful relationships with this generation and helping them to do the same. To try to keep up with culture is tough as it is changing so fast, but what this generation (like others) desires is meaningful, caring relationships where they are respected not as the future, but as the present; not as by standers, but contributors. Many are lacking relationships with people who genuinely care – the other generations can be part of providing and mentoring this.