Generation Z: the least-Christian generation in America

By April 11, 2018
bible, wall, hand, man, boy

USA (MNN) — Still think Millennials are the prevailing young generation today? Not anymore. Today’s high school and college students are in Generation Z. Researchers are starting to learn about Generation Z and have found several distinctions. For example, Generation Z tends to have shorter attention spans than Millennials, they tend to be better multi-taskers, and they are more entrepreneurial.

However, one alarming finding is the decline in Christianity within Generation Z. Earlier this year, a Barna study discovered that Generation Z is almost twice as atheist as the Millennial Generation. In fact, Generation Z is the least-Christian generation in American history.

teenager, boy, studentJordan Whitmer, a 19-year-old and founder of HowToLife shares, “Generation Z is marred by so much trauma, so much suicide, depression, that it’s one of the most psychologically-affected generations in history on those fronts. For those reasons, they in many cases are more ready for Jesus now more than ever.”

Young people in Generation Z desperately need Jesus. And who better to reach them than their fellow teens?

“Because 80 percent of [Christians] come to Christ before the age of 18…that puts us in a position where, if teens listen to teens, then why not mobilize teens to reach other teens? They may be the last best chance to share Jesus with their friends before going into a lifetime and eternity without Jesus,” says Whitmer.

“If Satan can capture one generation, he captures all those that come thereafter.”

Mobilizing today’s teens to reach their peers with the Gospel is what HowToLife is all about. Student leaders around the US are planning catalytic outreach events through the HowToLife movement and making a difference in their generation.

It all started when Whitmer was a junior in high school. He felt burdened to see the rest of his generation impassioned for Jesus Christ. So Whitmer and a few Christian friends gathered to prayerfully plan a movement.

(Photo courtesy of HowToLife)

“Someone was writing down the concept of like how to live your life, but they accidentally wrote down ‘how to life’ and we were like, ‘You know what? That’s it! HowToLife — that would be a great name for this!’”

Whitmer explains, “Ultimately, that name is so relevant as we talk about how to do life, and the answer is through Jesus.

“The Gospel message is the same Gospel message that has been out there throughout all of history since the time of Jesus, and our whole premise is that it must be carried to the next generation in the US and, ultimately even, around the world. Generation Z is not headed in a good direction and we must do something about that in order to truly see the Gospel go out.”

HowToLife held its first catalytic outreach event in Arkansas. “At this very first event that we did, we had over 750 teenagers that attended a completely student-led outreach event with worship, drama, speakers, and a Gospel presentation where we ultimately had 75 students that committed to Christ.”

(Photo courtesy of HowToLife)

From there, HowToLife expanded across the United States and hosted student-led outreach events in seven states. This spring, their reach is doubling with plans to put on events in 14 states.

As students learn about HowToLife or experience it themselves, they are inspired to lead a HowToLife event in their own community too.

Whitmer shares the story of one student from Alabama. “He wanted to do something exactly like what we were doing. He just didn’t know how…. This kid was actually planning an event and it didn’t come through. But when he heard about HowToLife about a year later, he said, ‘You know what? I think this is God saying let’s do something now.’ And then it happened! We had an event with hundreds and hundreds of kids that came out in Alabama to an event and 20 more students that made commitments to Christ.”

HowToLife’s mission is to empower Christian young people to share their faith in a big way.

“In some ways, it’s a unique thing for teenagers to step up and lead. It’s what we should be doing but we, for the most part, don’t usually have the support from adults that is needed or from anything to help us get off the ground,” Whitmer shares.

(Photo courtesy of HowToLife)

“Probably the biggest takeaway was how these student leaders were able to realize that they can make a difference at their age.”

So what about you? Whitmer says if you are a Christian teen with a burden to tell your friends, school, and community about the Gospel, there is no reason to wait. You can do something. Now.

“If you are a teenager anywhere in the United States or anywhere in the world and you want to be a part of this movement, we would love for you to get involved! You can find us on social media on Instagram at @HowToLifeMovement or you can find us at”

And for older generations, Whitmer says, “If you are a part of an older generation — Millennial Generation, Generation X, Baby Boomer Generation — we invite you to be a part of this movement by praying for Generation Z…. Also, if you know teenagers, share with them about this movement so they can maybe get involved!”

Please pray for high school and college students in Generation Z, that there would be a great spiritual revival in their generation. Ask God to draw today’s teenagers to Himself and to use them as mouthpieces for the hope of the Gospel in our world.


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