Resources for Reaching Gen Z

If you’ve been in youth ministry for even a short amount of time, you’ve no doubt noticed that Gen Z is a unique generation. Born between 1996-2012, Gen Zers are technologically-dependent, passionate about tolerance and safety, and eager to change their world. Since these are the students we are ministering to, it’s important that we understand the defining characteristics of Gen Z so that we can best communicate the love of Christ to them. We hope the following articles and podcasts are helpful as you navigate how to reach Gen Z with the good news of the gospel. 


Why I Love Discipling Students Through This Hopeless Babylon  by Seth Stewart

When I think about the hopelessness our culture has for your teenagers, I think about the hopefulness our Scriptures have for them. Hopeful not because it’s the Hallmark-card-y or youth-pastor-y thing to say, but hopeful because Jesus rose from the dead. I love student ministry because while our culture has so little hope for the next generation, God’s hope for them and his plan for them has no limits. 

How to Preach to Gen Z Students  by Chris Li

Teenagers are critical. Teenagers have short attention spans. Teenagers have no filter. But teenagers are also in a critical season of their lives, when they need wisdom, comfort, encouragement, truth, and hope. When they actually show up and give us an hour of their attention, what do we share with them? How can we reach them? How can we faithfully preach Jesus to youth? 

From The Gen Z Perspective by Tobi Park (Sola Network)

We value vulnerability, individuality, and authenticity. We participate in politics and don’t hesitate to voice our opinions. As the first generation to be born into the Internet Age, we are globally interconnected like never before. But what are we actually connected to?

Getting to the Heart of Cancel Culture  by Mike McGarry 

Understanding the heart behind cancel culture will help you pastor your students to graciously and courageously walk in step with the Spirit. Standing against the onslaught of culture is a challenge, even for spiritually-mature adults. So be patient with students, even as you point them to the surpassing treasure of Christ.

This is Your Brain on TikTok: Christianity in the Age of 20-Second Videos  by Tucker Fleming 

Many of our students enjoy TikTok a whole lot. Like anything else, though, too much of it can orient our hearts away from Jesus. I don’t know if there is a one-size-fits-all solution to our students’ love for TikTok. For some, TikTok is not at all an issue. They don’t have it on their phone, they don’t spend an inordinate amount of time on it, or their parents regulate its usage. However, for others, TikTok is a staple of their free time such that they spend multiple hours each day scrolling through the most recent videos.


Rooted Podcast: Daniel Im on Youth Ministry and the Shifting Tides of Culture 

In this fascinating episode of the Rooted Podcast, Davis Lacey sits down with Daniel Im to discuss discipleship, maturity, church planting, and student ministry in a quickly and constantly changing culture. Daniel is the Director of Church Multiplication at and LifeWay Christian Resources, Teaching Pastor at The Fellowship in Nashville, and author of No Silver Bullets and Planting Missional Churches.

Ask Alice: Liked but Still Lonely, the Realities of iGen Relationships with Technology

Thanks to social media, iGen is considered the most connected generation. But relationally, the server is not found. On our second episode of Ask Alice (featuring licensed professional counselor, Alice Churnock), we consider the impact of technology on our youth, and ways to navigate the development of healthy communication.

Rooted 2013 Audio – Liz Edrington: iRelationship: Doing Incarnational Ministry in a Technologically Dependent Culture

In her workshop at the 2013 Rooted conference, Liz Edrington discusses how youth pastors can walk alongside students with intentionality and generosity in a technology-dependent culture. 

Rooted Conference: Jason Williams, “Tribalism, Cancel Culture, and Social Justice”

Gen Z is infamous for its emphasis for “canceling”. Teaching from James 2, with an eye towards Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17, Jason Williams examines the effects of the sin of partiality on the body of Christ. He demonstrates how this sin of preferring certain people based on externals leads naturally into tribalism, which then leads to outright rejection. Williams shows us how the gospel leads instead to unity and mutual thriving. 

In addition to our blog and podcast, our Rooted Reservoir subscribers have access to all of the past training videos we develop for our Rooted Regional Groups. This month we invite subscribers to view Mike McGarry’s video on “Reaching Gen Z.”  If you’re a subscriber, head on over to the Rooted Reservoir site and you will find it in your library within the Rooted Regional Group Videos.