Day 28: Mentoring Gen Z
Gen Z is the first digital-native generation. They’re high in exposure, tremendously educated, and are a generation with incredible potential.
No wonder then that they’re the most marketed-to generation – everyone wants something from them!
But perhaps it might be good to step into their shoes for a bit and ask ourselves who’s sowing into their lives to provide anchors, truth and wisdom for them? Who’s building character and firm foundations in an ever-changing world?
My friends, there is a need for mentors to arise to meet the needs of a new generation. A generation of great courage, creativity, expressiveness and passion. Although the word ”mentorship” isn’t explicitly mentioned in the Bible, it is described throughout the Scriptures.
Moses had Jethro and went on to mentor Joshua and Israel’s elders. Samuel had Eli as his mentor and went on to mentor Saul and David. Elisha had Elijah as his mentor and went on to mentor kings after that. Esther had Mordecai. The disciples had our Lord Jesus and they went on to disciple the Church across the nations.
Generation upon generation, from the Old through to the New Testament, has mentored the next generation in the fear of the Lord. One thing is pretty clear from the Bible – great people who did great things had great mentors. And often, this mentorship had a generational effect.
Who’s building character and firm foundations in an ever-changing world?
It’s said that Gen Zs are sceptical of polish and prefer things raw and unfiltered. They don’t want inauthentic perfection but, rather, humble truth. Perhaps an unexpected side-effect from growing up on too-good-to-be-true media personalities.
Let’s apply this filter to ourselves! Applied to matters of faith, a Christian who talks righteousness but is filled with judgmentalism and not compassion, cynicism not optimism, and a sharp tongue rather than a gentle spirit, will quickly be dismissed by Gen Zs looking for life leadership.
To be used by the Lord for this next generation, we need to be disciples of Jesus worthy of His name in character and in demeanour. What if, when our mentees spent time with us, they actually see Christ in us by watching how we live, work and love our families?
Recent studies by the Barna Group show that a significant proportion of Gen Z respondents globally are still open to religion. They are yearning for something authentic and real, and when they find it, they get invested. There is still time to reach this generation!
As a millennial, I remember the time when my fellow millennials were just coming into our own, and perpetually described as entitled, lazy snowflakes who didn’t know how to do anything. Not good memories. And I’m sure my generation wasn’t the first generation to have been criticised by our elders. But I think the generational cynicism can stop with us.
I also remember the times when someone believed in me enough to want to sow into my life. They gave me their precious time, told me what they saw in me, and encouraged me over the course of years to be the best that I can be. It’s these mentors who believed in me that helped me believe in myself. What better way to honour their legacy of mentorship than now being a mentor myself? And you can do it too.
So let’s invest our heart and our time in the next generation. Let’s see the gold in them, believe in them and call the things that are not yet into being. There is greatness waiting to be summoned by fathers and mothers of faith who are willing to invest sacrificially for the sake of the Kingdom.
And if you’re Gen Z, we just wanna say we love you and we believe in you! May you be eager to find mentors who are like Christ! Mentors whom you can respect. Mentors who are honest and humble, who really believes in you to spend time with you. They are out there! Let’s pray:
Father God, we just pray that You give us the eyes of Christ to see Gen Z the way that You see them. We pray that we will also take our place in the arc of church history as mentors in the Kingdom of Heaven.
May those whom we invest in, whom we bless, be a people who know their God – and who go on to do great and mighty exploits for the Lamb.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Download the PDF version of today’s devotional here.