Episode #93

Growing up Christian in an Atheist world:

The influence of Gen Z—the first generation of true digital natives—is expanding. Long before the term “influencer” was coined, young people played that social role by creating and interpreting trends. Now a new generation of influencers has come on the scene. Members of Gen Z—loosely, people born from 1995 to 2010— are true digital natives: from earliest youth, they have been exposed to the internet, to social networks, and to mobile systems. That context has produced a hypercognitive generation very comfortable with collecting and cross-referencing many sources of information and with integrating virtual and offline experiences.

Photo – Markus Spiske – Pexels.com

As global connectivity soars, generational shifts could come to play a more important role in setting behavior than socioeconomic differences do. Young people have become a potent influence on people of all ages and incomes, as well as on the way those people consume and relate to brands. In Brazil, Gen Z already makes up 20 percent of the country’s population. McKinsey recently collaborated with Box1824, a research agency specializing in consumer trends, to conduct a survey investigating the behaviors of this new generation and its influence on consumption patterns…

Our study based on the survey reveals four core Gen Z behaviors, all anchored in one element: this generation’s search for truth. Gen Zers value individual expression and avoid labels. They mobilize themselves for a variety of causes. They believe profoundly in the efficacy of dialogue to solve conflicts and improve the world. Finally, they make decisions and relate to institutions in a highly analytical and pragmatic way. That is why, for us, Gen Z is “True Gen.” In contrast, the previous generation—the millennial’s, sometimes called the “me generation”—got its start in an era of economic prosperity and focuses on the self. Its members are more idealistic, more confrontational, and less willing to accept diverse points of view.

(Source and Author) Tracy Francis is a senior partner and Fernanda Hoefel is a partner in McKinsey’s São Paulo office. For the entire content of this article, click here.


Recent polls finds some significant shifts over the last 20 years regarding the values that most Americans identify as most important to them. Nearly nine-in-10 Americans (89 percent) identify “hard work” as a very important value, even higher than the 83 percent who said the same in a 1998 NBC/WSJ poll.  But those who say that “patriotism” is very important slid from 70 percent two decades ago to 61 percent now. The share citing religion decreased even more, from 62 percent in 1998 to 48 percent now. Those changes come amid a stark generational divide over which values are seen as most important.

 Among those who are either Millennial’s or Generation Z (ages 18-38), only 42 percent rate patriotism as a “very important” value, while 79 percent of those over 55 say the same. Just 30 percent of the younger group cite religion or belief in God as very important, while 67 percent of the older group does. And just 32 percent of those under 38 years old call having children very important, while 54 percent of those over 55 agree.

“There is an emerging America where issues like children, religion, and patriotism are far less important,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies. “And in America, it’s the emerging generation that calls the shots about where the country’s headed.”

(Source) The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Aug. 10-14 (2019) of 1,000 adults — more than half reached by cellphone — and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

Lifeway Study on Teens and Faith – Why Student’s are dropping out of Church

Katie Morton is a first year college student in Middle Tennessee and offers a unique perspective for parents to consider. Raised in the church her entire life, she has an extensive background in small church dynamics and the real-life issues of family, faith, and culture. Her thoughts and insights are a valuable glimpse into the world of a Generation Z Christian.


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Notes & Quotes: 

“It’s important to instill faith rather than just making your kids ‘go to church’ “.

“Parenting within a community not just attending a local church is important, participating and being involved in the services vs. just attending as a ‘consumer’ ”

“Parenting ‘with’ your kids, not just telling them what to do or demanding you do it ‘because I said so’ “

Recommended Resources: 

Shock and Awe Student Study: (A study on Christian Apologetic’s, reviews four key questions every Christian must answer)

Storms of Life, Student Study: (Living beyond stressed out and overwhelmed, a eight week study for youth ministry)