It is obvious that this latest generation is highly tech savvy and obviously this was vital in explaining the wildfire way that Jordan's vision (see last post) spread across the US and into Europe. As I listened to him describe what he sees as some of the distinctive features of Gen Z I noted some contrasts.
- They want to see change. I suppose Greta Thunberg is the poster girl for this characteristic but this new generation is reckoned to be more highly charged about wanting to make a difference. They desire to get involved in big issues.
- They want community. Belonging to small groups is deemed valuable especially when they are involved in change. Collaboration matters.
- Story and conversation are valued strongly and are key to enthusing others of their own age.
- They can be wide-eyed with wonder when confronted by the new.
However, alongside these characteristics Jordan mentioned:
- They are troubled by mental ill-health in larger numbers. Anxiety is common - a recent survey found that 23% of this group was in depression. Some of this is likely provoked by comparisons and trolling on social media.
- They are much less likely than previous generations to have a Christian world view. He mentioned a Barna survey in the US found that less than 4% of this group had a Christian world view. For most Gen Z the Bible is a closed book and church is alien.
I am left with real concern for this latest generation - it seems with so many positives yet serious negatives. How we oldies need to keep praying for them, especially when they are in our families and churches!