Please login to continue
Having Trouble Logging In?
Reset your password
Don't have an account?
Sign Up Now!
Register for a Free Account
Choose Password
Confirm Password

Your account has been created!

Gen Z and the Great Commission (Part 2)

Gen Z and the Great Commission (Part 2)

MAY 17, 2022  |  8 MINUTE LISTEN

Listen on Spotify, Apple, and Google

Episode Overview

Today on The Approach, we'll pray over Gen Z as they are sent where God has called them! We'll talk about how we can help the next generation create space in their lives so they can be formed into the image of Jesus. If they can do this, they will be released into classrooms, athletic fields, friend groups, and many secular settings. And it sounds an awful lot like missions—ordinary people, formed in the likeness of Jesus, going into the places He has called them.

Read the Script

Welcome to The Approach. This is one of our prayer habit episodes where we pause our normal rhythm and pray over our topic for the month. My name is Connor Owen, and I am on staff at World Gospel Mission.

Our last time together, we listened to John talk about Gen Z, the Great Commission, and certain spiritual disciplines that he believes are the key to the next generation abiding with Jesus. Just as a refresher, those four are Sabbath, Time Around the Table, Curating Technology, and Soaking in God’s Presence. If you want more on his thoughts around each practice, feel free to jump back to Part 1. But for now, the theme I hear in these practices is: creating space. Creating space for God in our schedule. And creating space for conversations with others at the table and removing technology from those conversations.

Okay, but why does this matter?

Gen Z is growing up in an increasingly post-Christian culture.

Let me pause on that for a moment. Your kids, students, athletes, youth group, are not growing up in a culture that talks about and understands the story of Jesus. What was once common knowledge about the Bible and Jesus no longer is.

So, if Gen Zers can begin to create room for Jesus and for people in their life who are like Him, they will be shaped more and more into His image. And this is important. In his book The Church in Exile, Lee Beech wrote, “If people are going to consider Christianity as a religion, the first text they may read is not the Bible but the church.”

In other words—in a culture where many are not familiar with the Bible, the only way people may hear the Good News of Jesus is through people who are living out the kingdom of God in schools, on teams, in clubs, or in other secular places. And this is what is exciting about Gen Z. While only a small percentage of them hold a biblical worldview, those who do are highly missional and believe in sharing their faith and discipling others.

This means that if we can journey with our Gen Zers, modeling these practices and helping them put these practices into their routines, they can be filled and formed into the image of Jesus and be mobilized as missionaries into their every day, ordinary places God has put them.

Your kids. Your students. Your athletes. They can be missionaries in the places they go every day, because, most likely, the places they go every day are filled with individuals who do not know Jesus.

Let’s take some time to identify the place your Gen Zer is in. My kids are young. So for me, my oldest is in school. Maybe it’s the same for your kids. Maybe, though, your Gen Zer is about to enter the workforce. Whatever that place is, think about this: where does your Gen Zer, or young person in your life, go on a regular basis?

As we’ve taken some time to think about where your Gen Zer spends time, I hope you’ve been able to identify a few spaces they regularly frequent. We’ve talked about how we need to create space for our Gen Zers to be formed more into the image of Christ. There are four practices John gave us two weeks ago. Again, those are Sabbath, Time Around the Table, Curating Technology, and Soaking in God’s Presence.

My kids are young, so some of these practices are not something they’re ready for yet. For instance, I don’t think my five-year-old or two-year-old or seven-month-old are ready to soak in God’s presence. But we can put other practices in place. Maybe we could be more intentional about curating technology or having conversations about the messaging on the shows they watch; we could ask them questions about what they saw and heard.

For your Gen Zer—your kids, your student, your youth group—what is one practice you could work on as they seek to become more like Jesus?

When your kids, your students, or your athletes create space to be formed in His image, they are able to be in the world but not of it. They can actively engage in the places God has put them. In fact—they can influence the places they are for the kingdom of God. What we’re working toward and praying for is a holy generation that is devoted to God and loves and prays for their neighbor. That’s missions. And that’s what you’re part of on this journey.

Let’s end our time today with a call from Jesus in Matthew 5:13–16, where He calls us to be salt and light in the place He sends us. I’d encourage to share this passage with your kids, your students, or the Gen Zers you are walking with. As they go to the places they are in, remind them of this call.

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Support a Missionary
Global Impact Fund
Advancing the Great Commission through your partnership.