“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
For what seems like forever now we have been talking about Millennials, what they are like, why they are that way, and what this means for the world. What’s interesting to note, however, is that the last Millennials are graduated from High School now and every student who is in Elementary, Middle, and High School is considered to be a part of Generation Z. Over 25% of the world’s population is made up of those in the Generation Z category. If you’re a parent of a child born between the years 1998 and 2018 you are parenting a member of Generation Z. So what does this mean for you and for how your child processes their faith?
1. Allow Your Student to Publish
Fun fact: The number one gift being asked for today by 9-year-olds is a YouTube channel! I remember being nine-years-old and asking for a monster truck remote control car! Gen X (Millennials) are considered to be consumers, but Generation Z is all about publishing. Think about how much is posted on Social Media each day. Students today internalize their faith, morality, and direction in life when they are able to process and publish the ideas themselves! Before directing and demanding your student to do something, provide them with conversations and opportunities to publish ideas themselves!
2. Be a Safe Place
Another way to foster moments and environments for students to process and publish their faith is to be a safe place. I’m not talking about the Safe Places that are all over the news and media right now, but I’m talking about us as parents and adults being a safe place for students to think out loud. Being a safe place requires authenticity, confidence (they know you won’t make fun of them around other people), and grace. Live out James 1:19 and be slow to speak and quick to listen!
3. Converse About Doubts
Most adults would consider doubts about faith to be a negative thing. But I would argue that doubts are not the most dangerous thing to faith, silence is. When students encounter doubts about what they believe, why they believe, or why the world is the way it is, they are bumping into an incredible opportunity to deepen their faith or leave the faith. Adults and parents must allow students to process their doubts in a safe environment and come out on the other side with deeper convictions on what they believe!
Resources: “Meet Generation Z” by James Emery White // “Growing Young” by Kara Powell