When Wes was doing research for his doctoral project, our girls (born in 2006 and 2007) heard a lot of the details and would inevitably ask, “Are we Millennials?” At the time, I didn’t think there was a name for what they are or that their generation would be so different from the ones that have come before. That’s why I so wanted to read this book when I came across it.
Generation Z is the term now being used to classify those born between 1993 and 2012, and this book, Meet Generation Z, is a great comprehensive introduction to them. It goes beyond that, though, by serving as an even better guide on the church as it is right now, what challenges we’re facing in a decidedly post-Christian culture, and how we might best reach members of Generation Z.
Honestly, the first half of this book was discouraging as the author took a really detailed look at what our children have been exposed to, what they perceive as normal, and what their thoughts are on any number of troubling issues. They’re a global generation, able to communicate and understand the world more clearly than any generation before them (which is amazing!), but with that access comes information overload without much guidance or wisdom either one. My kids can’t fathom life before smartphones or the Internet, for example, but they show an alarming immaturity when it comes to taking in information without filtering truth from folly. (And some of that is their age, I know, but it’s also a trademark of their generation, where things aren’t black and white but gray.)
That said, this book is super helpful because it doesn’t end there with an assessment of Generation Z. It goes on to discuss where the church is right now, what lies ahead, and how we can not only reach Generation Z with the gospel but how God will accomplish His mission and His glory through the strengths of this new generation. It was an encouragement to me to read this book and to think about how we as a church might continue to minister even in the midst of our changing culture and how we as parents can best disciple our future evangelists and missionaries to reach a world that they know better than any generation before them. Exciting stuff!
Definitely read this if you have a heart for students and for God’s good, good plans for them…