Culture -

Why ‘Contrast’ is more than just a theme —

By Audrey Wunderlich

Generation Z is unlike any generation we’ve seen before.

The young people who make up that generation are extremely interested in volunteer work, consider having a lot of money to be the ultimate sign of success, and would rather lose their sense of smell than live without a mobile device.

The unique behaviors and characteristics of that generation present opportunities for Kingdom work in amazing new ways. CIY believes that all students are made for Kingdom work; understanding how to help them discover that call is why so much time and effort is poured into every trip, event and resource.


Generation Z is categorized as those born between 1999 and 2015, making them currently fall in the age range of 3-19. Known as “Gen Z,” this group of individuals has been studied by various research organizations worldwide, including a collaboration of Barna Group and Impact 360 Institute. Recently, the two organizations released a book called “Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation,” which surveyed and collected data on the identifiable behaviors and characteristics of Gen Z. The book posits many startling statistics and poses questions to the Church as it seeks to raise up this next generation for the Kingdom. This group makes up the individuals in the Church’s current children, preteen, Jr. high and high school ministries. They aren’t just the future Church, they ARE the Church. To understand how to raise up Generation Z is to know how to amplify Christ’s call on students’ lives to be Kingdom workers, and CIY is passionate about learning to speak the language of Gen Z to be effective in this great commission.


A majority of Gen Z was raised with screens in their hands and have a plethora of information readily available at their fingertips. Barna research shows that more than half of Gen Zs in the teenage range (13-19) use screen media four or more hours every day, giving them the nickname “screenagers.” Because they have so much available information, they are eager to achieve both in education and as professionals.


Read more in the latest issue of CIY’s Kingdom Worker Connection magazine.


Audrey Wunderlich is a communications administrator for Christ In Youth. Her email address is