Children are being robbed of their childhood; they are growing up too fast. Unfortunately, they are growing up without God. Believe it or not, many have never even heard the gospel in America. Really? In America? I’ve been reading Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World by James Emery White. Over the next few weeks I will continue to share what I learn. It is truly eye opening and scary; but helps in paving a path for the next generation to know their God.
God’s people, the Israelites, received blessing after blessing from God yet they repeatedly turned towards false gods. Have you taken a good look at our culture today? How about just the church? Do we look like God’s people? Are parents sharing God with their children daily and making God a priority in their families? If not, how can we expect things to change?
Let me share some of the things I have recently learned about Generation Z, our children today:
- 12 and 13 year old girls are some of the highest paid models in America and are presented as sexually enticing adults. Our girls see this and want to be like this.
- Even the children on television act like adults now in the way they speak, dress, attitudes, desires… And this is who are kids are emulating. Tracy Vaillancourt who specializes in children’s mental health at the University of Ottoway said, “Kids mirror the larger culture, from reality TV to materialism.” Kids want to be who they see. Take a good look at who and what your kids see today. Is this someone God would be pleased with?
- Per proven research, teens who watch movies or listen to music glamorizing drinking, drug use or violence tend to engage in those behaviors themselves. And sexual behaviors? The more teens are exposed to sexual content in movies, the earlier they start having sex and the likelier they are to have casual, unprotected sex. We don’t want to believe it, but it has been proven.
- Then there is pornography. Wow! These statistics are incredibly disturbing.
- Nearly three-quarters of 15-18 year old’s have sexted
- 50% have sent naked or semi-naked photos/videos of themselves
- 84% have received sexually explicit messages by phone or email
- 70% of teens surveyed were sexually active with nearly three-quarters not regretting it
“It’s a social, online world our kids live in and sending these images and messages is part of the sexual relationship so it’s really a new form of courtship.”-Anne Mitchell. We cannot protect our kids from everything, but we can give them a strong foundation in Christ so they are prepared to make the tough decision to go against the grain when these situations present themselves. We have a responsibility to teach our children, to train them up in the way of the Lord.
This brings me to another alarming statistic in the growing number of parents to Generation Z who classify themselves as nones: the spiritual, but not religious. Perhaps this is why many children today have never heard the gospel. “The degree of spiritual illiteracy is simply stunning.”
I do not have all the answers, but I believe God can turn things around. He proved this throughout scripture. He worked through His people. Do you want to be one of those people? I know I do! I will begin opening the doors to my online learning opportunities for children next week, fun hands-on bible for kids. Grandparents can even get links to send to their grandchildren. It starts with a tiny seed. This is not the final answer, but it is as start. I pray that we can get Christ into all homes with children and open their eyes to see a loving God who wants amazing things for them.
If you are interesting in reading more about from Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World by James Emery White, just click on the link.