It is a statistic that generation z are the first generation that are completely non churched as opposed to being unchurched. This means that they have had little to no context of the church in comparison to parents or grandparents who had been brought up attending services.
During the Youth Evangelism speech, led by Jimmy Dale, it was made evident that there has been a significant drop in attendance from adolescents from the age 13-18. Jimmy talked about how it is often perceived, by the church, that there are two groups of adolescents: those who are members of the church, and members who aren’t, however, in his opinion, there are three groups. They are made up of: members of the church, people who consider themselves as members of the church and those who are not members.
He explained how there are some of generation z that consider themselves as part of the church, because of the activities they partake in, however are not active in their Christianity. As some churches think that evangelism finishes at an initiation class, adolescents are not motivated to return to church, hence not being active members of church, following with the statistic that around the age range of 14-18, adolescents start to lose their faith in God.
In order to encourage more youths to join the church and be active in their Christianity, Jimmy Dale says there should be more youth missionaries. This way, adolescents feel more comfortable and can relate easier to the church in order to make it more accessible.
On the other hand, it can be that there is a lot of anxiety around bringing up the fact that you are a Christian, as a member of generation z. It can be because of how non-churched this generation is, or how being a Christian is not a trait which is seen as popular amongst youths today.
As a member of generation z, I can safely say that it is understandable how the church find it difficult to reach out to us.
“We need to change the record…however someone pointed out to me that since record players were around, we have had tapes, CD’s and midi disks and now we are onto mp3s.”
Using an analogy that Jimmy used to illustrate my point, it is evident that the number of active Christian youths, have to change.
Aimee Li was listening to Jimmy Dale on the third day of the Sacred Space conference, Association of English Cathedrals