Open Letter to the Church: Gen Z Pastoral Studies Student
Dear pastors of today,
As we all know, the world is changing quickly. I’m 21, and currently serve in youth ministry at my church. I’m a junior in college, but I already feel out of touch with the next generation. Just like we all had to adapt ministry models with COVID-19, I think we need to be especially innovative when it comes to youth ministry. Apps like Tik Tok and Instagram promote “reels” (10-second videos), and kids’ attention spans are quickly diminishing.
In order to effectively minister to my generation and the next, I’m finding that some changes are wise if not necessary. For example, I’ve learned that a 3-point sermon might be better absorbed if it focuses more on a main application point and challenges listeners to take action. We want to be hearers and DO-ers of the Word, amen?
I’d also like to emphasize small groups. Personally, I don’t remember sermons from my time in middle school. What I do remember is how much my pastor cared and showed he was there for me, outside of church. He and other youth leaders would attend my choir concerts, football games, and anything I was involved in. My youth pastor actually taught me how to shave, tie a tie, and how to be a godly man. This really stood out to me, and there was no way to achieve the same impact within a sermon. My point is that those of us in youth ministry have to go above and beyond our sermon hour. We have to do life together. My church really focuses on small groups for youth, and this helps us lean into and walk life together. I think we can all agree that life is hard, but it is even harder alone.
I want to encourage you, as many pastors have encouraged me, to get personal and invest in my generation and the next. Let’s do ministry and disciple people outside of the pews.
A pastor of tomorrow