Gen Z (as it is called) refers to the generation that was born between 1996-2010. This generation are raised on the internet and social media age. It is like God deposited in them the ability to use the computer and smartphone without learning it from anybody.
A man of God said that he used an eagle for illustration in his sermon during a church service. He told the audience that the eagle is the highest-flying animal in the world. After the service, a young man sent him an email disputing his assertion. And then told him that the highest-flying animal is Ruppel’s griffon vulture. It flies as high as 37,000 feet (the same height as a commercial airplane).
The man of God was humble enough to tell the audience during his sermon the following Sunday that he made a mistake and gave them the right information. That is the demography that occupies church pews, but some men of God don’t know that.
According to Wikipedia, Africa’s population as a whole is very young, with 60% of the entire continent aged below 25, making it the youngest continent in the world, in relation to its population makeup. All of the world’s top 10 youngest countries by median age are in Africa, with Niger in first place with a median age of 15.1 years.
If you read one of my articles on Time Management not long ago, you would have discovered that Nigerian median age is 17.9 years. Close to 80 million Nigerians are below 20 years old. That is how your church membership looks like.
In the past, a man of God will say something, and people will accept it hook, line, and sinker. But now, they will crosscheck what you said before they can practice it. It is an inquisitive generation. Technology is embedded in them. That is why they can operate your smartphone and computer without being taught.
A priest, pastor, evangelist etc. must understand that church membership is changing from the old and not too educated people to 21st century highly educated young people who can easily search the internet to ascertain whether your message is correct or not. In fact, while you are talking to them, they are searching to see if you are sound enough to preach to them.
Young people spent many months arguing on the internet whether New Testament Christians should pay tithe or not. While they were arguing, some pastors continued using the same message they preached in the past to convince young and smart people to pay tithe. They searched the Bible by themselves, and said it is not true. In fact, many priests and pastors were taken by surprise.
You may say they are stubborn, but that is not true. That is the modus operandi of their generation. They are different from their parents. In the past, parents feel bad whenever they think of leaving a church. In fact, some of them left and retuned. But this generation don’t care about that. They want ministers that can preach the undiluted truth to them, especially focusing on the New Testament.
There are Three Important Things You Must Do:
(1). Don’t Take Things for Granted.
Before you prepare a sermon, search thoroughly to be sure your statements are correct. In the past we bought concordance and other Bible translations, but now, young people have every Bible translation, Study Bibles and other materials on their smartphones.
Don’t use the same mindset you used in the past. Upgrade your knowledge. Be one step ahead of them. Don’t joke with social media and internet as a whole. Know trending topics and use it to explain your points. Play in their fields so that you will be able to pastor them.
It is good to discipline people but be sure you are not making a mistake. You may end up punishing someone for wrong reasons. Can you imagine telling someone that he is suspended because he followed the church service online? That will make you look odd.
I know some church leaders that told their members not to read Bible in their smartphones and tablets. That doesn’t make sense. Real Bible is the Word of God not the medium you are reading it from. The Bible was first written on scrolls made of papyrus plant and then on parchment made of animal skin. Can you imagine someone saying that the real Bible is the one that was written on parchment—and that the ones written on paper is fake? That doesn’t make sense.
There is a verse of the Bible that suggest that one day we will have smartphones, computers and other devices and most importantly, the internet.
“The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” Psalm 68:11.
So, as the priest, pastor, evangelist, apostle and prophet preach the word of God, young people will publish it on the internet in order to reach more people for Christ. So, telling them not to read Bible on their devices doesn’t make 21st century sense.
(2). Try to Understand the New Demography.
I think the mistake some churches make is abandoning the youth and focusing on adults. Every church should have a solid youth ministry or youth organization. Young people are the future of the church. Many churches in Europe are empty on Sundays or filed with elderly people because the leaders did not make out time to pastor the youths.
Church leaders should have strong youth organizations that are not just geared towards social engagements but spiritually inclined. Sometimes church leaders establish youth organizations that is purely a social organization. That is wrong.
If you ask me the group you should pay more attention to in the church, I will say young people. Of course, we should pay attention to old people as well, but if you nurture the youths they will go to the moon for the church. They will introduce innovations that will shock you.
Sometimes we look down on young people and loose them. Many of them traveled abroad for studies and became atheist. In fact, some pastors’ children have renounced Christ because their parents were busy nurturing adults and lost the future of the church.
So, dear pastors and priests, take care of young people. Do all you can to understand them. They like technology and music. Their thinking is different from us. Go close to them to understand their world. Using the same strategy you used in the past will not work. They will simply rebel against you and leave.
(3). Make Use of their Skill and Intelligence.
Some churches in developed countries are using the intelligence and skill of young people to win souls and run churches professionally. There is a church in Singapore whose media team is made up of 13 to 17 years old boys and girls. The church leader understands that the new demography knows about technology more than the former demography. So, they deployed their skill for the good of the church.
Take youth ministries and organizations seriously. The youths are the future of the church. Any church that does not take young people serious will soon be peopled with old men and women. And you know what that means.
Use the energy and skill of young people to grow the church. Stop looking down on them, they know something you don’t know.
I have been relating with young people for many years, so, I understand what you just read. I know how to relate with them and the kind of messages that will change them. That is why I work with them in our different conferences and seminars.
Do the same thing and you will see the magic they will perform. But by all means, don’t encourage unruly behavior from them. Correct them when they go wrong but try to understand them.
Wisdom is profitable to direct.
If you want to recieve Jesus into your heart, say this short prayer and believe it from your heart:
Lord Jesus, I belive that you died to rescue me from damnation. Come into my heart and save me. I declare today that You are my Lord and personal Saviour. I am saved. I am born again. Thank you Jesus. Amen.
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