Written by: Philip de Jager
Article source: JOY! Magazine
We are living in 2023, enjoying the benefits of progress and development on various fronts of society. However, we also experience the large-scale challenges that this entails. When we look at society and world events around us, it makes us realise, with greater seriousness, that we must shine like lights in this crooked and twisted generation (Phil 2:15). After all, we are the light of the world that must shine brightly (Matt 5:14-16). In doing so, we will be a beacon of hope for Generation Z (iGen).
Friends, we need to hear the cry of distress from iGen! They will not be effectively reached and ministered to with watered-down programmes focusing more on entertainment than genuine encounters with God. It is a misleading idea that young people should be drawn with fun. They have a hunger and thirst for a real scripture-based encounter with God. Gen Z wants to know what to believe and why they should believe it, and they want to see the Christian community they belong to passionately live that out. They don’t want to be entertained. They want to learn what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Of course, the available technology and social networks can be used effectively. We must take note that truthful Christianity can be presented in trendy forms. Be creative and honest. Reach them with this!
Discipleship is more than just a good intention
We must do more than just part of the work. What is meant by this? Sometimes, we are so busy telling Gen Z how wrong certain things are – without teaching them how to live right. We must equip them to stand firm in faith (1 Cor 16:13). That is why discipleship training is undeniably essential. They would like to be taught more about Jesus and discipleship by other dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ who are willing to listen to critical questions. This discipleship training must also explain that God cares for those who live in poverty, are bullied, and are marginalised – precisely because Gen Z is known for committing themselves to worthy causes with missional intentionality. They want to reach out with the Good News of the hope that is in Christ. Help them with this!
So, how can we help Gen Z?
Develop a better understanding of their impressions of the world. Live out scripture-based Christian principles and discipleship with conviction because the tinsel of pretence will not fool them. Don’t stop praying for them. Pray with them, too.
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Date published: 12/11/2023
Feature image: Image for illustrative purposes only. Artwork from www.rawpixel.com
PHILIP DE JAGER – MTh (Practical Theology) (UFS). KDTA director of training, lead campus pastor.
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