In 2015, I had a huge awakening in my call to ministry. I remember the story vividly. I had the worst leadership meeting for our girls retreat that I had ever had.
I thought it meant that I was too old to be a girls minister.
I thought it meant that I was supposed to quit.
And in the midst of my tears and yelling at God, I felt a peaceful whisper in my heart. It was so unlike any other emotion I was having at the moment that it startled me.
The whisper was just this question: “What generation are they?”
I responded: They are millenials. I’m sure of it. What’s that have to do with anything?!
The question haunted me and I began deep research. I couldn’t find anything except for this researcher from Australia named Mark McCrindle. He was the first I had heard say that the generation that I was supposed to be leading were not Millennials but in fact, Generation Z.
The Lord used the next weeks and months to help me discover this new generation that had been in our student ministry for quite awhile. What He taught me about them re-affirmed my calling to ministry to students at this particular season.
Now, a new generation is about to come into our student ministries and I do not want to be caught off guard. And no matter where you are in Church leadership, you need to discover as much as you can about this generation as well, because they will shape the future.
I sat in on a webinar by Mark McCrindle Research over Christmas break in regards to Gen Alpha. I am so thankful I did!
One of the takeaways was what he said in regards to what the pandemic has done for this generation as well as all of us.
“It has decoupled work from location.
It has decoupled services from location. (Shopping/Food,etc)
It has decoupled learning from location.”
Now, this generation experiencing the pandemic during their formative years will not just be impacted by the pandemic, they will be formed by it.
McCrindle shared some positive ways that will show up and of course we can see some negative ways as well.
As the church, when I hear that, I wonder how the pandemic has impacted their faith. The Church was never intended to be “a building”, and yet the emotions and frustration by older generations of trying to gather in the building is surely making an impact on Gen Alpha.
How do we help Gen Alpha understand that Church being decoupled from a building is not any different than what Jesus had in mind?
How do we help Gen Alpha know that the Church is a body and that body has a mission?
Here is a quick tip sheet I put together from some information I resourced from McCrindle. Check out their blog and geek out over all the infographics on Gen Z to Gen Alpha. It’s fascinating!
And for the record, I’m excited about what God has in store for the Church as Gen Alpha comes to know their identity, significance and purpose in Christ!Tweet