I was recently asked to comment on a 2018 Barna poll which revealed some disturbing, although not surprising trends.
“It may come as no surprise,” the report tells us, “that the influence of Christianity in the United States is waning. Rates of church attendance, religious affiliation, belief in God, prayer and Bible-reading have been dropping for decades. Americans’ beliefs are becoming more post-Christian and, concurrently, religious identity is changing. Enter Generation Z: Born between 1999 and 2015, they are the first truly ‘post-Christian” generation.” How do we explain this?
I can assure you that it’s not because the Bible is any less true. Or the Gospel is any less powerful. Or Jesus is any less risen. Or God is any less good.
To the contrary, around the globe (especially in the global South), in country after country, the Gospel is spreading at an extraordinary pace. And right here in America, the Spirit is moving and lives are being dramatically changed.
What, then, is the problem with Generation Z? In my view, the problem is not so much with Gen Z as with the way Gen Z was raised.
First, many of these young people have been raised in superficial Christian homes. Their parents embraced a lightweight, me-oriented, prosperity-type gospel, which is a far cry from the real Gospel of Jesus.
It doesn’t transform us.
It doesn’t convict us.
It doesn’t empower us to live above sin.
It certainly doesn’t compete with the many temptations and pleasures of the age.
Instead, it affirms us and adds to us.
It makes us feel good without addressing our underlying problems.
Such a Gospel cannot withstand the cravings and pressures and distractions of the world. Such a Gospel will not grow stronger generationally. Instead, it loses its luster in the light of everyday life. Its lack of deep roots are exposed over time.
The lesson, then, for Christian leaders is simple: Don’t cheapen the message, deepen the message.
Second, and closely related, Gen Z’ers have not been called to leave everything and follow Jesus.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Brown