As schools start to open back up in the Phoenix area, organizations and churches are ramping back up their endeavors to reach “the next generation.” I have had the honor of being involved in some of those events and, consequently, had to prepare content.
A thought that has been wringing in my ears is, “what is the question this generation is asking?.”
It seemed like we (millennials) were asking questions of meaning.
“Why the Bible?”
For Gen Z, I think I hear a different question. I believe this generation likes to ask questions of care.
“Does God love me?”
“Do you love me?”
“Do you accept me?”
“Does God accept me?”
“Will you accept my friends?”
“Will God accept my friends?”
There can be an assumption that to engage these questions the way Gen Z wants us to, we have to compromise the truth; this is not the case.
When I look at Jesus’ encounter in John 4 with the woman at the well, He meets her right where she is.
Everything Jesus does to engage this woman is culturally frowned upon, showing that He accepts her.
He then points to the pain point in her life and says, “how is that working out for ya?”
You know the rest of the story.
Gen Z needs more of this. People who are willing to forsake things we deem “culturally acceptable” to meet them where they are at. Here, we can speak the truth to them with compassion and patience.
The truth for them needs to be realized by them. They can’t happen if we don’t go where they are. They need to know they are cared for.
Jordan is a team member at Reframe Youth.