“Welcome to the House”

Welcome to the house


The shift has finally happened. It has taken the church and youth ministry 10+ years to catch up to what the world, marketing, and research has been talking about…Generation Alpha is HERE! 

Gen Z is SOON to be no longer the students in our ministries, and actually, they will soon be the adults and volunteers leading our ministries. The church spun its wheels in trying to figure out Millennials, and the world has moved on. It will continue as Generation Alpha will be the last truly traditional generational grouping.

Are we ready to welcome this new student generation to our “House”? Here are a few thoughts about this Generation and our approach.


While many will lament this new generation’s lack of faith and digital lifestyle, there are many more opportunities for hope if we are willing to look.   Every generation seems to be a response to the previous generation, and it is no different from this current pendulum swing of society.   We can clearly see the stereotypes of Generation Z, whether fair or not, directly reflecting in who Gen Alpha is shaping itself to be in comparison. A national pandemic has not helped this, with this generation locked away for two years with their Millennial parents.

This is a WINDOW MOMENT for the church and youth ministry to choose to either continue to reflect millennials’ parent’s shortcomings or react in positive ways seizing the moment and entering the present and future with fresh reaction changes.

The challenge will be for the now Millennial adults and young Gen Zers, who are taking their place in leadership as youth workers and pastors. Will they be willing to overcome their generational stigmas, humbly allowing the next generation to lead up?


Looking even at recent years’ marches for changes in gun laws and environmental issues, we see a growing contrast. No matter your side or political view, this new group of young people will not be satisfied sitting and complaining in cyberspace from their parent basement. This new generation is a group willing to physically stand up and stand out, unlike their older siblings and even parents. While one generation was willing to wait for parents to provide for them, delay adulthood responsibilities, and complain about the size of their participation trophy, the next generation, it would appear, will be willing to participate in challenging government and social change actively.

The same can be true in the church if we can give this new generation a vision for partnership and participation. At the same time, they have been given nicknames for their lack of religious affiliation. What might be lacking is an intentional missional vision. This generation has already shown itself to be passionately caring and altruistic. Our youth ministry and churches need only to OPEN THE DOOR to this generation. Allow them to leave behind the previous generations’ spectator mentality, to throw wide the opportunity to participate in a world-changing truth for themselves actively.

Will they find the church as willing to embrace their participation as the world around them has been?   The task for the community of faith will be to shift the focus away from past fickle religious spectators to these new passionate contributors.


Switch on your device and watch what shows are trending. You will see Alpha’s beginning to take over Netflix with shows about them and starring themFor the first time, you see social media companies like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat begging people to return. Go to a physical store, and you realize their digitally savvy influence and opinion are worth their weight in dollar bills. They are shifting not just national retail but the national economy.

This newest group of young people are thriftier and wiser stewards of their money, influence, and loyalties.   They have access to a world of information and are willing to use it to communicate with each other creatively. They resourcefully create content to rival the past things held as truths. This group of young influencers will withhold their approval, presence, and resources until something is proven trustworthy.

This is the church’s FRONT LAWN TO REACHING THIS GENERATION. Our ministries can allow them to peek in the window and invite them to walk through doors to participate, but we must go out to meet them before it is too late.   We cannot wait inside; with online services and Zoom meetings hoping for the best, we must go out to meet this generation in their spaces, physical or digital. It is not about figuring out what kind of coffee or kale chips will bring in the past generation’s consumers. This generation wants to know we are real and worthy of their trust.

While we need to value the past and understand its place in leadership, the past Millennial generation cannot be the primary ministry mindset of our churches, any longer.  Generation Z is fading and graduating quickly. The first set of Generation Alpha is showing up in the world already. We do not want to be too late to have a voice and part in their faith story.