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How to Reach Generation Z for Christ

What a time to be parenting a Generation Z kid! 

There are so many things vying for my children’s attention. I want to be doing intentional things in my parenting journey that show them who Christ is, but, I am not going to lie, it’s hard. I am always reading books, articles and blog posts. I want to impact my kids' lives — a positive impact for Christ. Here's what I'm learning:

A recent Barna study1 shows that more than half of Gen Z are motivated to learn about Christ. Parents are the most influential and important people in kids’ lives.

What Do We Know About Gen Z?

There are many definitions of who Gen Z is, but many consider them kids born approximately between 1997 and 2012. According to Pew Research,2 Gen Z is the most diverse generation, and they are also on track to be the most educated. 

Gen Zers lean more progressive on social/political issues. They are more inclusive, open-minded and sensitive to people’s feelings. They have almost no memory of a world before smartphone technology. They are often referred to as Digital Natives. Some researchers have linked the use of smartphones with the growth of anxiety and depression in this group. Values and authentic commitment are important to Gen Zers. 

Knowing what we do about Gen Z, it is important as parents and adults in the church to provide an authentic Christian experience for this group. We learned from a Gleaner article on Gen Z3 last year written by Carolann De León: “Our kids, youth and young adults are desperately longing for peace and joy. As we disciple them into a relationship with the only fountain of sustainable life, they will find the strength and peace to move beyond their debilitating mental health symptoms and the courage to accept mental health support without shame.”

Practical Ways to Reach Gen Z for Christ

Utilize Technology

Gen Z learns with a multisensory experience, often with technology involved. We need to provide ways for them to learn about the Bible and Christ in the ways they learn best. Let them ask questions, eat/drink, fidget and move when talking with them about Christ and Christianity. They want to actively participate in discussions at home, school and church.

Genuine Relationships

Gen Zers want authentic, real relationships based on trust. They want parents, teachers, pastors and family friends who will walk beside them. So get to know this generation better. Engage with the kids in your home, school and church. Provide a judgment-free zone where they are comfortable asking questions and grappling together over issues.

“When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the good news and share in its blessings” (1 Cor. 9:23–24).

Get Involved in Community Outreach

Gen Z wants to see your faith be lived out in the community. So bring your kids to community events, outreach opportunities and bridge events. They want to see Christianity in action. If your church or school isn’t actively involved in outreach to the local community, then it’s time for you to help plan those events. Better yet, let the young people plan them. They love having actual leadership roles in the church.

These are just three practical ways to reach Gen Z for Christ as we help to nurture peace, real relationships and a sense of belonging. Gen Z needs authentic mentors. Don’t be afraid to talk openly about mental health issues with Gen Z. Ask them real questions and get to know them. This generation can change the world for Christ — it’s daunting and exciting to be parenting this generation of young people.

John 14:27 tells us, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”



  1. “Over Half of Gen Z Teens Feel Motivated to Learn More about Jesus.” Barna Group, June 27, 2023.

  2. Parker, Kim. “On the Cusp of Adulthood and Facing an Uncertain Future: What We Know about Gen Z so Far.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, May 14, 2020.

  3. De León, Carolann. “Trauma-Responsive Discipleship.” Northwest Adventists, November 15, 2023.

Featured in: May/June 2024