We are entering a season when we will be evaluating how we did in our ministries this year, as well as setting plans and goals for next year.
We can, and should, look at our efforts. But have we taken the time to consider how our audience has changed and how our approaches are perceived by this new generation?
I was sitting in a meeting recently and saw a presentation, by Sparks and Honey, an NYC advertising agency, “Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You Learned About Millennials.” This was so intriguing, that I did some further looking into the research.
Those born after 1995 will be freshmen and sophomores on our college campuses next year. What I am reading, gives me a lot of hope for this next generation. They are being hailed as entrepreneurial, DIY-ers, global minded, frugal, and ambitious. They want to create the future. If we expect them to sit long in a discipleship group before getting to lead, they won’t stick around.
An interesting article in Maclean’s magazine, Get Ready for Generation Z, says, “Research, though still in beta, points to the emergence of a stellar generation: educated, industrious, collaborative and eager to build a better planet…Gen Z is already being branded as a welcome foil to the Millennials…”
Many are already currently employed in part time jobs or apprenticeships. Part of it stems from six years of recession during their formative years. So they are busy. They are considered career multi-taskers. If they will jump from job to job, we can expect to continue developing and challenging them to stay involved with us. Think “student ownership.”
They expect to be informed, to be allowed to respond, and to have their responses heard and acknowledged. One source said they don’t wait for email responses. We will want to answer inquiries about involvement quickly.
One other worthwhile article to read is “Meet Generation Z”, on GettingSmart.com.
So as you make plans for summer ministry and your first few weeks back on campus in the Fall, consider how current research on this generation might inform how you minister to Gen Z.