Recent research into today’s teenagers is shedding some light on some overarching generational themes. Today’s students are known as Generation Z (born between 1996-2010). They are digital and mobile natives also known as the Net Generation or iGeneration. Generation Z make up a quarter of the U.S. population today and will become a third of the population by 2020. This generation of young people is turning out to be quite different from the Millennials before them.
A new book, Generation Z Goes to College, shares the results of research studies aimed at learning more about today’s students. When asked about religious participation, Generation Z students report higher weekly religious service attendance (41%) than previous generations. However, an even higher number (78%) of this generation reports belief in God. So a substantial gap exists between students reporting belief and those practicing their faith. And as other studies have shown, teen religious participation is not a predictor of continued faith practices after high school.
Continue reading Getting To Know Generation Z
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You turn people back to dust, saying,
“Return to dust, you mortals.”
Teenagers often feel invincible. Mortality is not a hot topic of conversation among students. Yet the Bible makes it clear that this life is temporary.
We can help students gain perspective in life when we address this topic. Students need to be reminded that although God is eternal – they are not. And young people need to hear that their time to respond to God is limited. Students may feel they have all the time in the world to repent and turn to God. Yet, the Bible reminds us when it comes to knowing when our time is up, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:13).
Did you see the Golden Globes? No? Well, maybe you should have. Award shows should be “must see TV” for youth workers. You should watch not because you need to see who wins, but because these shows provide youth workers with a glimpse at some of the most influential people in today’s culture.
According to Time magazine, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, and Emma Stone were among the most influential celebrities of 2011 (Time, 2012).
To most, these individuals are merely beautiful and talented television, movie, and music stars. However, to some, they and other celebrities like them, represent something more. For many teenagers, celebrities are an influential part of their identity formation. Continue reading Battling the Influence of Culture