“Follow your heart” seems to be the anthem of my generation. Gen Z has been given a lens through which to view the world, one that places self at the center. When there is no foundation of authority, there is an absence of absolute truth. Our culture tells us that we are free to change genders, being free from the authority of the God who created us with a specific gender at birth. The world teaches that we are the sole governors of our own bodies, free from obedience to the God who created our bodies to be living sacrifices.
The emphasis of “my truth” can lead to many difficulties when it comes to evangelistic approaches to Gen Zers. The confrontation of a worldview contrary to their own often leads to automatic pushback: your truth is your truth, while my truth is my truth. The gospel can easily be dismissed when this becomes the foundation of belief.
In the many conversations I have had with my fellow Gen Zers, I have come to realize that they often do not see the need for the gospel because their worldview is so often warped by a lens that sees everything as subjective. Gen Z should be challenged to contemplate whether there are truly moral absolutes, that there is a divine authority, and where true happiness comes from.
What Gen Z needs is a complete transformation of worldview.
What is Your Authority?
Ideologies that completely shatter the ground for moral, objective truth appeal to our sinful inclination to follow whatever our heart desires by placing ourselves on the throne, with no one or no God to tell us what to do.
To build a proper worldview, we must travel all the way back to Genesis 1. God spoke the world into existence and created Adam and Eve to tend the Garden and care for His creatures, and to walk with Him, unhindered by sin. God, as the Creator, is our ultimate authority. He created mankind for a specific purpose and with a particular design, and that they would glorify His name and live in the joy of walking with Him.
We are merely creatures that are sustained by the power of the Creator. We are merely jars of clay that are formed by the hand of the Potter.
There are many in my generation whose minds have been shaped by the secular educational institutions, where they are taught that life is a cosmic accident that ultimately has no purpose. But, and perhaps more widely, there are also many within Gen Z who believe in a divine being, yet he does not seem to have any dealings with us humans. Either way, there is no accountability, no absolute right or wrong, and no authority. It is “my body, my choice”, and my truth becomes the only truth that matters.
It is a comfort to believe in some sort of divine being, and many of my fellow Gen Zers choose to believe in a God yet are unsure of where He fits in their daily life. The glorious reality of our Creator-creature relationship is that God deeply cares about His creation and rules over it with authority. Gen Z needs to know that there is a God, and if He truly created us and sustains the universe even now, then we must not do anything but submit to His reign.
To truly believe that there is a God who has created mankind is to accept His divine authority over our lives. We are His creatures, and He is our Creator. Thus, this truth should shape the way we live our lives.
Where Does Your Happiness Lie?
We have seen it time and time again on the screens in our living room. The child has an ambition, some yet-to-be awakened talent, or a dream he longs to fulfill. Yet his parent does not see his hidden potential. The parent is over-protective, over-bearing, and seeks to keep the child in the status quo of how things have always been done. But by the time the credits roll in, viewers are satisfied when the child was able to convince his parent that he knew best all along, and that true happiness is found when following one’s own hopes and dreams.
Not only has Gen Z grown up under the influence of such shows and movies, but they are also surrounded by these messages within the education system, from social media, peer groups, and in society at large. Even in Christian circles they are slowly trickling in.
Is happiness found in finding one’s own truth, disregarding authority, and following one’s own heart and dreams?
Gen Z must see that this is utterly false.
The book of Proverbs often compares and contrasts the path of the righteous with that of the wicked. Proverbs 13:15 states, “Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin”, and in the NASB, the latter part of the verse reads, “But the way of the treacherous is hard.” Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Repeatedly in the book of Jeremiah, God pronounces judgement upon His people for walking “in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts” (Jeremiah 7:24).
When our eyes are turned inward and our lives are spent seeking our own happiness, the way of those who would follow their own hearts leads only to death and misery. God, as our good Creator, graciously gives His creatures the way to live within His Word. This way is the way we were created to walk in and is the only one that leads to true happiness.
While the Christian life is hard, it is very rewarding, for we become more like Jesus, put our sin to death through God’s help, and we can have joy in the Lord even in difficult circumstances.
As we seek to minister to Gen Z and lead them to Christ, we must understand these foundational worldview differences and faithfully communicate the paradigm shift that’s required to truly know and follow God. They must learn to see the world with a completely different lens. They must see that there is a divine Creator who has established absolute truth. This God has given us the way to live that leads to true joy and happiness that can only be found in Him.