"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” (Joel 2:28 NLT)
Gen Z—the generation following millennials—is the least Christian generation to date, according to a new Barna study. Thirty-four percent of Gen Z’s religious affiliation is either atheist, agnostic or none.
Not only that, but one-quarter of Gen Z (24%) strongly agrees that what is morally right and wrong changesover time. For example, the study shows that only a third of Gen Z-ers believe lying is immoral.
Building a Counter-culture
In a think-piece about these alarming trends, Director of Impact 360 Institute Jonathan Morrow describe how even Gen Z young adults who are raised in Christian homes often struggle with an unwavering Biblical stance: “Students are entertained but not prepared. They’ve had a lot of fun but are not ready to lead.”
Morrow goes on to point out that most young Christians feel inadequately prepared to offer an answer to social issues like gender dysmorphia, depression, bullying, homosexuality, suicide—to name a few—while others struggle with whether the Bible’s views on these topics are absolute and still relevant.
This issue is not made any easier by a society that increasingly blasts anyone who dares to voice a counter-cultural view.
In response to this need, Times Square Church had a vision of offering young adults solid Biblical training to prepare them to be strong lights in a dark world.
Becoming Living Stones
The Summit International School of Ministry was founded by Times Square Church in 1994 with the heart to disciple students in firm Biblical beliefs and application through ministry.
The school even has international scholarships to encourage attendance from students around the world who are seeking to be church leaders and influencers for God in their own countries.
One alumna, Anna Kay, stated, “The school’s longest lasting impact is the community. We didn’t achieve a special level of holiness; we’re still human, and we still struggle. But now we have one another, friends around that world who will drop everything and pray for each other.”
Not only are academic lessons and community a priority at Summit, but instructors also believe practical training is vital for students.
The school’s connection to Times Square Church and many other ministries, domestically and internationally, offers students wonderful internship and job opportunities in ministry after graduation.
A Generation for God
The next generations have enormous potential to renovate the field of missions and evangelism, and already the front-runners are acting as God’s hands and feet in the field.
“Today I get to travel around the world encouraging and training partners in ministry. This wouldn’t have been possible had I not answered the God’s call to dedicate myself to training in ministry,” Anna said.
Church-planting organization Stadia believes that Gen Z will become “a powerful force fighting for the Kingdom.”
More so than perhaps any other generation, today’s young adults are less enchanted by the idea of going to a church and far more captivated by the prospect of being the church.
In order to grow into the future’s evangelists and church planters, though, they will need mentors to help them build a firm Biblical foundation, like Paul with Timothy.
Pray for the next generation to be drawn to God and for ministry students to be built into strong leaders. You can also learn more about the Summit International School of Ministry and their work here.