Meet Generation Z

Discussion not limited to prophecy.

Meet Generation Z

Postby Jericho on Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:32 pm

Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World (Baker Books, 2017) by James Emery White is about our children and grandchildren, who White says, were born between 1995-2010. Based on those birth years members of Gen Z are already filling our schools and universities and beginning their careers. They will be the parents of a new generation and will lead business, education and government in the near future.

There are other researchers who date Gen Z a bit differently than White. Some date the births of this new generation from 1996 -2012 or even to the present (2017). However, for the purpose of this book review I will use White’s dating.

White wrote that “the rise of the nones and the coming force of Generation Z will inevitably challenge every church to rethink its strategy in light of a cultural landscape that has shifted seismically. If the heart of the Christian mission is to evangelize and transform culture through the centrality of the church, then understanding that culture is paramount.” (White, James Emery. Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World (p. 12). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.)

“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh.” Ecclesiastes 1:4 KJV

Part 1: The New Reality

White makes some strong arguments in his book about coming to a “pivotal time” in our culture. He quoted political strategist Doug Sosnik as saying that the United States is “going through the most significant period of change since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.’ Years from now, Sosnik argues, ‘we are going to look back at this period of time and see it as a ‘hinge’ moment . . . a connection point that ties two historical periods in time, one before and one afterwards.” (p. 18) White believes that members of Generation Z will be an important part of that change.

“So who is Generation Z? They are growing up in a post-9/11 world. They are experiencing radical changes in technology and understandings of family, sexuality, and gender. They live in multigenerational households, and the fastest-growing demographic within their age group is multiracial. But let’s unpack them a bit more slowly.” (p. 39)

White then shared what he called “five defining characteristics of Generation Z.”

Recession Marked
Wi-Fi Enabled
Multiracial
Sexually Fluid
Post-Christian

“The most defining characteristic of Generation Z is that it is arguably the first generation in the West (certainly in the United States) that will have been raised in a post-Christian context. As a result, it is the first post-Christian generation.” (p. 49)

White went into depth in Chapter 3 about how members of Generation Z are the children of Generation X – “a generation that was warned repeatedly not to become ‘helicopter’ parents (i.e., always hovering over their children). As a result, Generation Z has been given more space and more independence than any other generation. This means that Generation Z is very self-directed.” (p. 51)

White wrote that if Millennials were raised by overprotective parents, then Gen Z is being raised by “underprotective” parents.

“Reflect on this in relation to Generation Z. In other words, consider the effect of an underprotective family environment in a day of sexting and Facebook, bullying in schools and internet porn, cutting and hooking up. When children need to be protected as never before, they are met with a parenting culture that is less protective than at any other time in recent history.” (p. 53)

One of the most powerful statements in White’s book are these –

“One might be tempted to say the same of our own day, particularly in relation to how we are shaping Generation Z. There are many ways to characterize them, but in essence, two headlines must not be missed. 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.” (p. 64)

Think about that. The young people who are part of Generation Z do not even have a memory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s one thing to state the problem – it’s another to offer a solution.


More https://faithandselfdefense.com/2017/10 ... eration-z/
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Re: Meet Generation Z

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:00 am

I've been thinking about this topic since last night when you posted it, Jericho. It's a complex issue I think, but off the top of my head I think technology and social media are significant factors influencing this generation. While parents may be a major influence up to a certain age, I discount them as the primary reason for the loss/lapse in Christian values and beliefs in the teen years.

While technology opens the door to much more advanced information from a variety of sources, it also hampers one-on-one communication in a group format for most young people. In-depth discussion, debates, and challenges that enhance our understanding of many issues, to the best of my knowledge they do not take place to any degree through a "question & answer time" with family or even church group today. Many of the topics that might need to have honest answers to, i.e. God, sexuality, drugs, alcohol, etc, would be more comfortably discussed anonymously via technology.

At the moment, I understand that as time moves on, culture, language, interests, and values etc. change as well so we should not be surprised or panic. I could be wrong, but I also think it's unreasonable to think every different generation needs "fixing."

still mulling it over in my mind.....
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Re: Meet Generation Z

Postby mark s on Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:51 am

I think every generation does need fixing. But the answer never changes.

Much love!

Mark
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
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Re: Meet Generation Z

Postby Jericho on Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:53 am

At the moment, I understand that as time moves on, culture, language, interests, and values etc. change as well so we should not be surprised or panic. I could be wrong, but I also think it's unreasonable to think every different generation needs "fixing."


I am a bit more pessimistic Abiding, and I don't think it will end well. Every generation appears to get worse than the previous. We appear to be going down the same road as Ancient Rome, and I also wouldn't rule out that this has some prophetic importance. In any case it all goes back to the family. When the family is strong and healthy, a nation will be strong and healthy. Start degrading marriage and the family, confusing gender roles, promoting immorality, and a nation will implode from within. History shows this to be true.
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Re: Meet Generation Z

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:08 am

Jericho wrote:I am a bit more pessimistic Abiding, and I don't think it will end well. Every generation appears to get worse than the previous. We appear to be going down the same road as Ancient Rome, and I also wouldn't rule out that this has some prophetic importance. In any case it all goes back to the family. When the family is strong and healthy, a nation will be strong and healthy. Start degrading marriage and the family, confusing gender roles, promoting immorality, and a nation will implode from within. History shows this to be true.


hmm....comparing today's culture with that of Ancient Rome doesn't seem like a good comparison and here's one reason. I think the average life expectancy during 1st century Ancient Romans was between 30-40 yrs. I don't have a link for that info, but a quick search will validate that statistic I think.

Given that aspect alone, family life and/or duration of marriage was not subjected to the same tensions we have today with some individuals living anywhere from 80 - even 100 yrs. That makes certain lifestyle differences; i.e. marriage, education, careers/employment, emphasis on material possessions, etc. subject to far more and certainly far longer times of stress and change.

The marriages in the 1st century, due to life expectancy, lasted roughly 15-20 yrs. if that. Our life expectancy enables a good marriage to last anywhere from 20-50 or even 60 yrs.

Family life in the 1st century was more community/tribal oriented whereas today we value individual domains with privacy being the norm so many do not even know their neighbors.

Clothing, food, transportation, and technology were not the distractions and time-consuming nor affordable focuses in most average 1st century citizens as they are today.

Values and beliefs were generally instilled by parents in the first century, whereas even if they are instilled by parents today, many if not most, leave home to attend higher education universities where they are influenced by professors, peers, and personal freedoms not previously permitted at home.

Add in today's interest, dependence, and addiction to technology and we have a practically unregulated (by parents) source of filth, drug sources, easy access to porn, etc.

Even with these negative situations, young people seem to be flocking to churches that are accommodating their lifestyles, music and other typical interests to reach them for Jesus. (in fact, some of the pastors I've seen in Baptist churches look so young they might still be going to Walgreen's to purchase acne meds.) :mrgreen:

Many of these Generation Z teens see their parents as out-of-touch or old-fashioned in their expectations so they, understandably, relate to their peers.

I don't see it as hopeless. My peers throughout school frequented bars, smoked cigarettes, viewed porn, used fowl language, were guilty of racial discrimination, engaged in sexual intimacy, got abortions, and other things probably left unsaid here....

As an aside....in 1960, Paul Lynde was asking pretty much the same question...What's the Matter with Kids Today? :wink:
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Re: Meet Generation Z

Postby Jericho on Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:10 pm

hmm....comparing today's culture with that of Ancient Rome doesn't seem like a good comparison and here's one reason. I think the average life expectancy during 1st century Ancient Romans was between 30-40 yrs.


Hello Abiding. Nothing is ever exactly the same, but I still think we can draw some comparisons. The parallels that I see with Ancient Rome in their declining years regarding marriage and family, is that marriage became a joke. And by the end of the second century, many Roman marriages were childless. This is also a common trait of our modern secular societies. Here's something I wrote in another thread:

Roman honor and respect for marriage had virtually become extinct. Roman marriages had greatly deteriorated and had become a loose and voluntary compact in which religious and civil rites were no longer essential. Adultery and promiscuity were rampant. A married man could sleep with unmarried women and prostitutes and it was not considered adultery. Women of high-ranking families would ask for their names to be entered among the public prostitutes so they would not be punished for adultery. viewtopic.php?f=18&t=70017&p=580490#p580490


As the family goes, so goes the nation.

I don't see it as hopeless. My peers throughout school frequented bars, smoked cigarettes, viewed porn, used fowl language, were guilty of racial discrimination, engaged in sexual intimacy, got abortions, and other things probably left unsaid here....

As an aside....in 1960, Paul Lynde was asking pretty much the same question...What's the Matter with Kids Today?


There may be some truth in that Abiding, though I think that if we compare the generation of today to that of say 70 years ago, we can see a consistent downward progression. I agree, however there is always hope in Christ. At this point I think only he can turn this situation around.
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Re: Meet Generation Z

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:39 pm

Wow, Jericho! How did I overlook that other thread you posted back in 2014? I'm off to read it now. Thanks for mentioning it.

Funny that the topic of Ancient Rome came up as I was just doing a bit of research a couple days ago and landed here. I didn't spend as much time there as I wanted because of some of those modern distractions we have today. But I do love to look back at the different cultures and practices so I'll look that site over as well as the link you provided above.
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Re: Meet Generation Z

Postby Jericho on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:27 pm

Abiding in His Word wrote:Wow, Jericho! How did I overlook that other thread you posted back in 2014? I'm off to read it now. Thanks for mentioning it.

Funny that the topic of Ancient Rome came up as I was just doing a bit of research a couple days ago and landed here. I didn't spend as much time there as I wanted because of some of those modern distractions we have today. But I do love to look back at the different cultures and practices so I'll look that site over as well as the link you provided above.


Thanks for the link Abiding, I do love history. I've been reading about Western civilization lately, and Rome and Greece have always interested me, especially since I have some Greek ancestry.
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Re: Meet Generation Z

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:10 pm

OK, here's one other site that deals primarily with Ancient Hebrew culture and philosophy. I've yet to explore that one as much as I want due to time constraints right now.
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