The church over the last few years has focused most of its attention on how to reach and impact the Millennials. It seems we have become so preoccupied with the evangelistic and discipleship strategies for Millennials that we haven’t completely considered the fact that the world is already evangelizing and discipling iGens (Generation Z).
Please do not misunderstand this writing as it is not my belief that we should not continue to reach as many Millennials as possible; however, we can’t forget that secular leaders have already been discussing and implementing plans to capture the post Millennials or iGens (Generation Z). One of the failures of today’s current apostolic leadership is the lack of strategy to impact, disciple, and deploy new generations continually. As apostolic leaders, we need to think generationally and begin to seek God for strategies before Satan has implemented his own strategies. A few months ago, these words from an article in the Huffington Post entitled, “Educating Generation Z: Let Them Color Outside the Lines” piqued my interest:
I recently read a statistic by social researcher Mark McCrindle which set off an internal monologue that ended in a migraine: my daughter's generation will have 17 employers across 5 separate careers, working in jobs that don't even currently exist. How do I even prepare my 7-year-old child for that sort of future? ... All of a sudden, the ingrained mantra of ‘study hard, get a good job, save money’ is no longer acceptable. And yet, I have to be progressive enough to recognize that the current education system is unable to prepare my daughter for a life we can only predict.
In addition, the article went on to point out that the present day leaders of our education system are unsure how to prepare Generation Z for the future because they are uncertain of how the future looks when it comes to various cognitive and technological advancements. If the world is uncertain, this should not alarm the church of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, this uncertainty should excite and encourage us to seize this moment to become the front-runners in shaping the future for this emerging generation. We have an opportunity to fashion a generation of revolutionaries empowered by the Holy Spirit to go out and provide answers to the world’s greatest challenges. If we are going to arm Generation Z, then we need to do some of the following:
1) Seasoned and Emerging apostolic leaders need to come together to discuss the issues awaiting Generation Z and devise strategies through prayer on how to equip them to chart new courses.
2) Apostolic leaders should begin talking with other five fold ministry leaders about teaching their church to think generationally.
3) Apostolic leaders should have more dialogue amongst each other about strategies that should be employed to disciple and develop Generation Z to have cultural impact.
4) There should be the creation of opportunities and initiatives that encourage the children of Generation Z to be creative.
5) Apostolic leaders should begin to dialogue with Christian education and marketplace leaders about developing new educational systems and models that encourage the creation of new technology.
6) Apostolic leaders must take time to pour into emerging Millenials who have apostolic DNA, so that they begin to think about the most effective way to serve future leaders of Generation Z.
Finally, it is vital that the church sees the need to cultivate leaders in every generation. We must begin to create plans that continue the process of raising leaders who will transform each generation. We often become so consumed in working the vision given to us by God that we do not consider that someone must continue to carry out that vision once we can no longer do it ourselves. This type of failure in thinking is what Satan desires because it means that we have not spent time equipping and preparing successors. The failure of past movements was not considering the succeeding generations. It is time that we think generationally so that the work of the Kingdom impacts every generation.
About Dr. Nathan J Culver (USCAL Member)
Dr. Nathan J Culver is a native of Newark, NJ where he began to passionately pursue God and his purpose. Nathan was raised in a single parent home in a neighborhood that was drug infested and plagued with violence. He defied the odds and rose to become a minister, author, entrepreneur, and generational leader with a passion to cultivate and develop a generation of individuals that will be agents of change.
Dr. Culver is the husband of Kena Culver and father of three beautiful children. He serves as the presiding apostle of One Nation Network a ministerial and marketplace leaders network based in Atlanta, GA that oversees ministries in the United States.
He also serves as a bishop on the apostolic council for Transformation Network and is the General Secretary of the Futures Alliance an organization under the leadership of Bishop Joseph Mattera and the U.S. Coalition of Apostolic Leaders. For more information about Dr. Culver and his ministry please go to www.nathanjculver.com.