Meet Generation Z

by Pastor Billy Chidester
Below is a blog that I read recently that should challenge you and I in our

thinking. Check it out…

Meet Generation Z 

I know some are still trying to catch up with Busters, or Generation X, or whatever we called those who followed the Boomers. Or maybe you leapfrogged over all that straight to Generation Y (Millennials), on whom marketers have been focused for at least a decade. I could tell you there are actually six living generations in America, but I don’t want to add to your stress.

Let me save you some time: Drop everything and start paying attention to Generation Z, who now constitute 25.9% of the U.S. population. That’s more than Millennials (24.5%). That’s more than Gen X (15.4%). Yes, that’s even more than Baby Boomers (23.6%). By 2020, they will account for 40% of all consumers. Generation Z will not simply influence American culture, as any generation would, they will constitute its culture. 

So who falls into Generation Z? There’s still some debate on exact dates, but essentially it involves those who were born after Generation Y – so approximately 1995 to 2010. It is the generation that is now collectively under the age of 25. Some would argue that everyone born from, say, 1980 to the early 2000s are one giant cohort known as Millennials. It’s true that such a grouping would be unified under a technology revolution, but as the research of Bruce Tulgan notes, “This time frame is simply too broad to define just one generation because the 1990s and the 2000s are two distinct eras.” To lump them together would be to link a 13-year- old with a 35-year- old. And even technologically, that would be hard to embrace. Much of the 90s was pre-internet except for very, very early adopters. And the smart phone? Non-existent. The ubiquitous nature of those two things alone would decisively divide any generation. “Growing up with a supercomputer in your pocket connected to most of the world’s population and knowledge,” writes David Pakman, “has created an irreversible pattern of behavior unlikely to revert to the ways of previous generations.” Or as an article in the New York Times noted, “A 14-year- old in 2015 really does inhabit a substantially different world than one of 2005.”

Intriguingly, some are calling Generation Z the last generation we will ever speak of. The speed of culture, where change can happen in a day, will make speaking of generations and their markings obsolete. “Tomorrow will be less about what a difference a generation makes, but more about what a difference a day makes.” All the more reason to make sure we know about which is probably the last, and arguably which will prove to be the most influential, generation in Western history.

So who is Generation Z? They grew up in a post 9/11 world during a recession. They’ve experienced radical changes in technology and understandings of family, sexuality and gender. They live in multi-generational households, and the fastest growing demographic within their age group is multi-racial. But there are five defining characteristics that everyone should know.  

For those five and more, I’ll have to steer you toward my just-released book, Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World.

But make no mistake: Understanding and reaching this generation is the heart of understanding and reaching our post-Christian world.

James Emery White

We live in a much different world than we did 10 years ago. As our church seeks to honor Christ by making disciples, let’s consider together how important it is to reach the younger generations. Fifty percent of our nation was born in 1980 or after and we have the great responsibility of building God’s kingdom by reaching those generations, while not forgetting the other generations. This will be challenging. There is much to overcome. It will require change. But imagine attending and serving in a church that is so selfless that it is filled with people from all generations and ethnicities. Join me as we pray for God’s strength and power and as we go to make disciples of all nations and generations.

Leave a Reply