Gen Z Pain Points: Connect Powerfully with Young Adults by Relating Your Preaching to These Three Issues!
Marketers worry about reaching Gen Z - described by some as the 18 to 22 year old crowd. No wonder! Gen-Z will surpass Millennials in 2019 as the most populous generation, comprising roughly 32 percent of the population according to some researchers.
Marketers want to target messages to them and ensure their - that is, the marketer’s - survival!
How much more should we as Kingdom leaders strive to know and understand today’s young adults in order to reach them with the gospel message, disciple them as followers of Jesus and develop them as the future leaders of the church?
So what do young adults have on their mind? The answers, according to recent research by the American Psychological Association (and others), may surprise you!
As you prepare your messages for the upcoming Christmas season, find a way to apply your points to the three concerns below if you want to deeply connect with the Gen Z listeners in your audience.
Pain Point 1: Loneliness
Would you have guessed that Gen Z comprises the loneliest of all the generations - self-reporting even greater loneliness than the seniors in the Baby Boomer generation?[i]
“Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone or left out,” according to a new survey from health company Cigna. One out of five Americans has no person they can talk to.
And the loneliest generation? That would be Generation Z, defined in this survey as those 18 to 22. Their average loneliness score is nearly 10 points higher than the least lonely generation — the Greatest Generation, those 72 and older.
While it’s tempting to blame Gen Z’s reliance on smartphones and social media, the data don’t bear that out: The survey didn’t find a significant difference in loneliness levels between those who used social media often or infrequently.
Speak to loneliness and you will connect with lots of people - including young adults!
Pain Point 2: Insecurity About the Future of the Country
A 2018 report from the American Psychological Association entitled Stress in America reports that Gen Z - more than any other generation - feels stressed and insecure about the future of the country. The report states:
Many Gen Zs feel stress and concern about the nation. Gen Z’s reported average stress level related to the current state of the nation is 5.4 (on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress”), on par with the national average for adults overall regarding the state of the nation (5.3).
Young people, in old-fashioned terms, worry about “what the world is coming to”. Could there be some opportunities during the season of Christ’s coming into the world to address that issue?
Pain Point #3: Safety
The same APA study cited above also reveals the following:
For a majority of Gen Z youth, gun violence—mass shootings and school shootings—are significant sources of stress. 75 percent of those in this age group report mass shootings as a significant source of stress, and nearly as many (72 percent) say the same about school shootings or the possibility of them occurring. [ii]
75 percent! Regardless of your personal politics on the topic of gun control, fact is that many young adults worry about becoming a victim. There must exist any number of ways to relate those concerns and the state of the world to the many promises of God in Christ.
The Prophet Joel once voiced the wonderful promise that “your sons and daughters will prophesy”! (Joel 2:28 - 30) If we take those young adults seriously, use our emotional intelligence to identify with their pain, problems and concerns, even those of us who are older can connect with them powerfully!
[i] Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/05/03/gen-z-loneliest-generation-social-media-personal-interactions-column/574701002/ on November 25, 2018.
[ii] Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2018/stress-gen-z.pdf on November 25, 2018.