3 Big Keys to Connecting with Gen Z

Gen Z.  They are the largest generation on the planet and are a force to be reckoned with.  Their spending power is estimated to be over $44 billion.   

They are our mission field and if we want to reach them, first we've got to know how to effectively connect with them. We've got to figure out what they want, how they want to interact and what they value.  Let's take a look at 3 big keys to effectively connecting with Gen Z. 

Gen Z is mobile first.  80% of internet users own smartphones.  And for Gen Z, smartphones are a way of life.  They use their smartphones to interact with their friends, parents and other contacts.  If you want to connect with them, the pipeline is their smartphone.  Ministries must provide mobile apps, experiences and communication. 

Think about it...

How can you deliver mobile discipleship tools?

How can you let kids integrate their smartphones into the lesson?

How can you equip kids to share their faith using their smartphones?

How can you help kids invite their friends to church through their smartphones?

Gen Z is looking for examples of authentic faith.  Gen Z is growing up with digital content coming at them 24/7.  This is causing them to navigate through messages with precision.  They are not easily fooled and know how to spot hypocrisy.  To earn their trust and respect, you must go above and beyond to show them what genuine faith looks like. 

As they grow up, they will lean heavily on each other for advice when making decisions about where to go to church, what leaders to trust and what to invest their time in.  83% say they trust their peers' opinions more than they do the messages that constantly bombard them. 

Think about it...

How can you model genuine faith for Gen Z?

How can you leverage peer-to-peer recommendations and advice to connect with Gen Z?

What are some things you can do to earn the trust and respect of Gen Z?

Gen Z is not concerned with the name on your church sign.  It started with Gen X then accelerated with the Millennials.  Now Gen Z is continuing the trend of not making their church attendance decisions based on what the name of a church is.  They are highly unlikely to pledge their allegiance to a church based on the fact that "our family has always been part of this denomination."  
Ministries can't assume that kids will attend their church as they grow up just because their parents did.  If another church better meets their needs, that's where they will go.  I know this plays right into the "church consumer" mentality, but it's something churches can't ignore.  The good news...it causes churches that really want to reach Gen Z to change and make needed adjustments. 

Think about it...

Are we only relying on our past to reach today's kids?

Are we willing to change and adapt to reach Gen Z?

What will we do to attract and keep Gen Z?

I think you can sum up how to connect with Gen Z in three words.

Access - we must provide access to our ministry through mobile platforms.

Authenticity - we must live a genuine faith that will earn the trust and respect of Gen Z.

Adapt - we cannot rely on the past, we must adapt and change to meet the needs of Gen Z.