REACHING THE Z’S ( Tips on Reaching them)
Jim Burns from HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University has some advice and ideas for us.
Understand Them: As Burns notes, you can’t reach the Z’s unless you understand them and their world. He takes his cue from Paul in Acts 17:22-31, addressing the Greeks at Mars Hill. “He talked to them in their language,” says Burns. “We have to do the same with Generation Z. We’ve got to listen to what they listen to, watch what they watch, read what they read.”
Learn From Them: Burns and others recommend that parents and youth leaders get on Snapchat and Instagram, the social media platforms of choice for Z’s. Observe their behavior and posts, but don’t necessarily chime in. “We should be watching, not stalking,” says Burns.
Watch Them: Derek Brown, student minister at Logos Baptist Church in Dothan, Alabama, adds, “I think it’s helpful for students to know that people do watch them on social media, and not just their peers.”
Eubanks, the student pastor at Oak Grove Baptist in Burleson, Texas , says Z’s “divulge who they are” online, so he pays attention to their activity. “Through social media, I can learn a lot about what’s going on in their lives,” (Eubanks).
Communicate With Them: If he sees something of concern, he’ll contact that student and ask if he can help. “They’re not offended, because they know I’m not trying to pry, but that I love them. If you genuinely love them and incarnate into their culture, you earn that right.”
(Z’s might disagree with the advice that adults should follow them on social media.)
Minister To Them: And like teens of all generations before them, Z’s struggle with self-image and doubt. But unlike previous generations, Z’s actually attempt to measure their worth through such counterfeit indicators as the number of “friends” and “likes” on social media. So, it’s vital to remind them they’re made in God’s image, fearfully and wonderfully so.
Get to Know Them:Eubanks adds, “Their attention span is shorter. They think in terms of small sound bites, quick quips and quotes, memes, videos, images, and emojis. A 35-minute lecture probably isn’t the best way to reach students these days.”
Educate Them: He stresses keeping the floor open for discussion because Z’s are curious and inquisitive.“How comfortable are we in allowing them to interrupt?” he asks.
“We have to create a culture where asking questions is OK. If we don’t, we’re missing a valuable opportunity.”
Marty’s Summary: Love them, learn from them, get to know them, pray for them, but most of all, tell them about Jesus! I hope you enjoyed getting some “snippets of info” about a large segment of our population.
To read part 1 of 4 click here:
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To read part 3 of 4 click here:
Article taken from : Facts and Trends Online Magazine September 29, 2017 https://factsandtrends.net/2017/09/29/reaching-the-zs/
MARK MORING is a freelance writer in Atlanta with a heart for teens. He is also fond of catching Z’s, especially on lazy Sunday afternoons while “watching” the NFL.