For decades, research groups have been evaluating the differences between generations. Of specific interest in recent years has been the millennial generation. It is no secret that millennials continue to pave their own way in thought and life. But a recent Barna study has drawn new and alarming attention to the generation following the millennials. In a comprehensive research investigation studying their experiences, motivations, and perceptions, a report published last week finds Generation Z (also called “Gen Z”) to be the least Christian generation in America’s history.
According to Brooke Hempbell, senior vice president of research at Barna, “This new study shows that Gen Z has a highly inclusive and individualistic worldview and moral code.” Which leads to three key questions:
Who is Generation Z?
Currently, no specific birth dates exist for who makes up Generation Z, but researchers typically agree on including individuals born between 1999 to 2015. This group has been influenced by a heavy increase in Internet usage, cell phones, and social media. They have been shaped by events such as terrorism, school violence, and the economic recession.
But what impact do these findings have on Gen Z and Christianity? A recent issue of LifeWay’s Facts & Trends referred to Generation Z as a “post-Christian” generation. Specifically, the article is quoted as saying, “Today’s generation has little to no acquaintance with the gospel.”
What Trends should be Noted?
Here are two important trends to consider: