Aug 2, 2021

The Rise of the Next Generation

The next generation is rising quickly.  They are becoming known as Gen Alpha. They are kids born between 2010-2025.  

They will significantly add to their ranks in the next 3-4 years.

They are on the way to reaching 2 billion members strong across the world. Every week, 2.5 million new members are born worldwide.  Within four years, they will out number the Baby Boomers. 

They will enjoy a longer life span than previous generations in modern times.  Some of them will live to see the 22nd century.

They will stay in education longer than any previous generation and so many of them will stay at home with their parents later than even Gen Z and Millennials. This will cause challenges for parents.

Like generations before them, they have unique opportunities to change the world that waits before them.  Even at a young age, they are already influencing their parents' decisions through the social media landscape, brand influences and purchasing power.

Here are some interesting observations that will help you understand more about Gen Alpha.  Much of this information comes from Mark McCrindle who is a TEDx speaker, demographer and futurist.  He coined the term "Gen Alpha."

  • They are the most technological generation ever. We watched the items below being invented.  For Gen Alpha, they will never remember not having these things.
    • iPads
    • 3D printers
    • Google glass
    • Telsa powerwall
    • biometrics
    • autonomous vehicles
    • quantum computing
    • aerial ride sharing
    • everything streaming
    • screens are placed before their eyes even before they get their first pacifier
  • Here are some things that are on their way out when it comes to Gen Alpha. They will look at these things as ancient technology.
    • fax machines
    • landline phone
    • cd/dvd
    • car key ignition
    • textbooks
    • desktop computers
    • credit cards
    • analogue watches
  • 1 in 2 will be university grads. 
  • Their iconic toy is the fidget spinner.
  • Social media is how they communicate and update. Celebrity kids like Asahd Khaled, son of the more famous music producer DJ Khaled, and Prince William’s son George already have Instagram accounts, managed by their parents.
  • AI is their reality.
  • Grew up with Covid19.
  • They will stay in education longer than any previous generation and so many of them will stay at home with their parents later than even Gen Z and Millennials.  This will cause challenges for parents.
  • Many will spend some or all of their childhood in living arrangements without both of their biological parents.
     
  • They are accustomed to having immediate access to information.  "On demand" is another way of saying this.  They are impatient when they have to wait for something.
  • Old models of learning are becoming obsolete.  Gen Alpha will learn at their own pace with personalized learning experiences.  In primary and secondary school, alphas will move from a structured, auditory method of learning to a visual, hands-on method. They will acquire problem solving skills and experience peer-to-peer learning. Connected classrooms will be the norm. There are already schools that have shifted from the traditional forms of interacting with Gen Z to the methods more suited to the incoming alpha students, like the use of iPads rather than textbooks to create projects and share work with teachers and classmates. Students can already digitally contact their teachers with questions on their homework (this came from www.fluxtrends.com).
  • When it comes to religion or belief systems, it will be hard to persuade Gen Alpha.  They are defiant and don't like existing structures.  Personally, this doesn't bother me.  We have the Holy Spirit who draws people to Christ.  It will be through the power of the Holy Spirit that we see them come to Christ.

As children's ministry leaders, what a great opportunity lays before us to invest in Gen Alpha and help them maximize the calling God has and will place on their lives.  To see them change the world for Christ, they will need to be shepherded well as they face their own unique opportunities and challenges.

Nursery and preschool leaders are on the front lines when it comes to Gen Alpha.  Far removed from "baby sitting" or "childcare," this ministry is crucial if we are going to reach Gen Alpha.  The first few years of their life are the most critical.  Children learn much about life in those early years as they explore this new world they have entered.  Nursery and preschool leaders have a unique opportunity to help Gen Alpha develop a strong foundation that will begin to emerge now and in the next 3-4 years of their life. 

Elementary leaders also have a great opportunity to invest in Gen Alpha and continue to build on the foundation that is being built in the nursery and preschool years.

And as a leader, it's a great opportunity for you to leave a legacy within Gen Alpha.  As you invest in their lives, you are sending a message to a day you will never see.  Long after you and I have vacated this world, the investment you made in their lives will continue to grow and flourish. 

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