Gen Z's and Faith

Author: Cheryl Kisunzu, Ph.D.
August 16, 2018

Significant statistics from Barna Research Group demand our consideration as with intentionality, prayer and great joy we prepare to welcome our university students (your children, family and friends) to their Fall 2018-2019 academic year. Significant statistics specific to family values of Christian parents of today’s

Gen Z’s (students who were born 1999 to 2015) include, but are not limited to the following:
82% Christian parents state it is very important that their child develops a faith that lasts into adulthood
63% Christian parents state it is very important that their child is equipped to explain their Christian faith
57% Christian parents state it is very important that their child engages in service
43% Christian parents state it is very important that their child is able to integrate their faith into their career
Less than 50% have ever discussed (among other topics) healthy media consumption or the relationship between science and the Bible.
Less than 25% of engaged parents have talked about integrating faith and career;
Less than 25% have talked with their teen about discerning God’s will in their choice of college.

Furthermore, the researchers observe that - as these Gen Z’s think deeply about their future – understanding how their career fits into their purpose is of great value in establishing a foundation for an enduring faith. Additionally, it is noted that while these young adults may not be comfortable participating in this type of focused discussion – the need for this clarification is nonetheless an urgent priority. It is therefore, recommended that given the  societal hostilities in which Gen Z’s  live – it is essential that opportunities be created for conversations through which clarity regarding the relevance of faith to profession, service, worldview, purpose and “life’s calling’ be created such that this generation is prepared to experience a faith which is relevant, flourishing and enduring. As a result this generation will be “equipped to explain their Christian faith” and be engaged in service – both of which are deemed to be essential elements for a strong adult faith and an enriching life of significance and purpose.*

This data provides the context for the reflections for this week’s Fall 2018 WAU Faculty & Staff Colloquium where Dr. David Trimm, Dr. Rick Norskov and Dr. Eileen Hulme will provide us with insights and strategies for nurturing with our students, clarity of calling and purpose.  Through the emerging actions of these meetings, it is our desire, that more than ever, our students will grow in wisdom, grow in statue, grow in favor with God and with man (Luke 2:52) … even as with greater clarity they are prepared to have a “reason for the hope that is within them” such that, as David – Joseph – Esther and Lydia of old they are transformed into today’s competent moral leaders prepared for purposeful service such that through their respective disciplines the fragrance of Christ’s love  permeates our world and enriches lives for time and for eternity.  “This is Washington Adventist University”!!!
                  *https://www.barna.com/research/parents-and-pastors-partners-in-gen-z-discipleship/


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