Engaging The Next Generation

When I was a teenager, I loved playing hockey.

I wasn’t the most amazing player by any stretch of the imagination, but I loved being a part of the team and playing.

When I sat on the bench, I couldn’t wait to get back out on the ice.

As youth pastors and ministry leaders, we have an unstoppable army of teens all around us waiting to be put in the game.

According to Barna, 66% of Gen Z (those born after 1999) plan on finishing their education and starting a career by the time they are 30.

To them, success and being a part of something bigger than themselves, and making a difference in our world is a huge deal.

What an opportunity for the church.

I believe your greatest potential for qualitative and quantitative growth in your youth ministry, won’t be found in your next best sermon series, or your next biggest event, or in the charisma you feel you bring or don’t bring as a leader. 

I believe a huge part of it will be found in how you are engaging the Next Generation. Are you calling them into the game to help move the puck down the ice? Or are they watching, disengaged in the stands?

Gen Z wants to make a difference in our world and we have something big to call them to. We have something they can buy into.

We are called to make disciples who make disciples.

It can’t end with us.

And at the end of the day, they can reach their friends much better than we can.

Reflection questions:

  1. Do you have an intentional student leadership program focused on making disciples who make disciples? Check out this blog or the video below for some ideas if you don’t.

  2. Who around you right now is sitting on the bench, needing to be called into the game?

Check out this interview we did with Hope Thomas & Jeremy Berry from North Pointe in Edmonton to get some fresh ideas on how to do Student Leadership well.

For the full, in-depth interview, subscribe to the ABNWT Youth Podcast on iTunes.