As this column is written for our church website and to be distributed among the Saloma Baptist Church website, the reality of the passing time of time is very much evident in my mind. We are nearing the end of another school year with high school and college graduates preparing to step out into new chapters of their young lives. Some will continue their educations while others pursue careers or take some time off from school while entering into the work force.
We are calling upon all the members and friends of our church to join us in a season of prayer for these young men and women as they move forward in their lives. We need to pray for their relationships with Jesus Christ, that they will seek and follow the Lord’s good and perfect will for their lives, that they will dedicate their lives to Christian servant leadership in whatever work or career path they feel called to pursue, and that they will become people of love, compassion, humility, and grace.
There are many positive attributes among the so-called Generation Z’ers who are the up and coming generation – they demand genuineness among those who are their seniors, they accept diversity as a reality of 21st century life, they are open to change and innovation, technology is a part of their daily life, accountability and transparency are expected, and problems and issues need to be addressed and solved in their minds – not just studied and ignored. If given a cause and the opportunity and means to be involved, they will respond to the challenge.
They do not accept “pat answers” and “empty phrases” and do not tolerate “the same old thing…” They expect answers and can be impatient when delay in response occurs. Some of them have limited attention spans because of their dependence on technology, smart phones, tablets, iPads, etc. As the church, we have both tremendous opportunities and challenges in engaging Generation Z with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
While the message of the Gospel remains the same, the way we do things must respond and innovate with the rapidly changing culture around us. This generation has more knowledge than any other generation in history – they face more challenges and demands on their time and attention than any other generation in history – they read and hear more things than any prior generation that can undermine their faith if we as Christian leaders and church family simply sit back and “rest on our laurels…” They display an enthusiasm and energy that is desperately needed in the church of 2019. We must become more relational in our ministry with all generations – but particularly with Generation Z. This is a Biblical model of ministry – Jesus was relational in his approach to ministry. So must the 21st century church be. We need to listen, observe, and learn from the younger generation – from the graduates of 2019 – they have a lot to say, a lot to offer, and they will respond to the call to ministry when given an opportunity and the chance to serve.
Join us in congratulating the class of 2019, in praying for them, and in engaging them in the mission and ministry of the church of Jesus Christ!