What comes to your mind when you think about Generation Z and Generation Y, better known as the Millennials?
Social media? Working from home? Technology?
The sad reality of American culture in the 21st century is that it has cultivated selfishness and narcissism across generations like no other time in American history. With the rise of post-modernism, as well as the rise of social media, one could feel like there is not a lot of hope for younger generations. What can be done about this? There is an answer.
The Gospel is the key, but there is one specific component of the Gospel that must be embraced by the Christian youth of Gen Z and Millennials for hope to become a reality. The hard part about the Gospel, and what really goes against the grain of our human nature, is the part that calls us to deny ourselves and to follow after Jesus. Jesus isn’t looking for fans. He is looking for followers.
Everything in American culture elevates self. Social media is perhaps the greatest example of this. The overall purpose of social media at its core is to get people looking at “me”. To get more likes and followers, more influence, more attention, more self. Most of the items we buy from the store are for personal convenience. We have a wealth of entertainment and pleasure at our fingertips. When I was child, the only type of internet was dial-up. If you wanted to watch a new movie, you had to drive to Hollywood Video and rent a movie for 5 days. Things have drastically changed. Just about every movie, TV show, and music album is available to us within seconds. Even the availability of food has changed. Once upon a time, you had to go out to eat. Now you can order food from just about any restaurant and have it delivered to you. People don’t even have to grocery shop for themselves anymore.
What does all of this mean? Like never before, the younger generations of our country, specifically Gen Z and Millennials are surrounded by things that elevate our self-nature, feed our sinful nature, and keep us focused on ourselves. However, living like this leaves us empty. We are all looking for love and purpose, and neither of those two things can be found within ourselves. The culture says “look harder within… focus more on yourself…. You will find what you are looking for.” It is a lie. This is one reason why depression, anxiety, substance abuse, addiction, and suicide are on the rise. The more our culture says to look to yourself and to serve yourself, the worse people get.
Self is the biggest barrier to following Jesus. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-26, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
Next Gen Christian Event: ‘A Jesus Movement’
Amid that backdrop, there is a Christian youth event that is going against the grain of American culture. It takes place on January 27, 2024. The goal is to gather, mobilize, and empower this generation to fulfill their God-given purpose.
The event is called “The Commissioning: A Jesus Movement.” Though it is geared toward younger generations, everyone is welcome. It is being organized by the missions organization World Harvest. The frontliners of the event will be Christian Hip Hop Artist “KB,” Evangelist Jacob Ebersole, Evangelist Alex Wurm, and Jesus Youth.
This event isn’t a concert, it isn’t a conference, and it isn’t something just to do. It is a calling to the Christians of the younger generations to accept God’s call on their lives and to fulfill the Great Commission. The only way to break out of the radical stream of postmodernism, atheism, and narcissism that is currently being cultivated in American culture is to radically serve Jesus Christ.
When even one young person is ignited with a passion and fire to serve the Lord by fulfilling the Great Commission, all their friends and relatives can be impacted by their testimony and story.
It is important to remember that Jesus didn’t give “The Great Suggestion.” He gave “The Great Commission.” It applies to every Christian, both young and old. At this event, everyone who attends will have the opportunity to get plugged into the mission field around world, including missions here in America, and meet the event organizers personally.
Currently, in Spartanburg, SC, there is a youth movement rising up called Jesus Youth, an offshoot of World Harvest. This is a movement of young people who are on fire for God and fulfilling the Great Commission within their own city. The Great Commission doesn’t just have to be foreign missions, it can be your neighborhood. Gen Z and Millennials could radically impact the rest of the culture if they will choose to fulfill the Great Commission.
Jesus was the ultimate model of humility and selflessness. In fact, He said that He didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. To follow Jesus means that we deny our sinful self and find our true identity in Him.
The ultimate purpose of the Christian life, while we are on earth, is to glorify and serve God. And in so doing, we actually find true fulfillment. We find joy. We find peace. We find purpose. We find love. The culture of today says, serve yourself to find fulfillment. The Kingdom of God says, lose yourself to find fulfillment.
The hope for the younger generations is in them shifting the focus off self, which is a black hole that can never be filled, and onto Jesus Christ, what He did to bring salvation, and then living a life of service to Him by spreading the good news and the Kingdom of God.
John 17 says, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Notice the key word. Jesus was “sent.” And in getting to know Him, He sends us out to do His Father’s will. The Christian life truly is the most adventurous life anyone could ever live out. The key to living it is that you must “go.”
The very last command in Matthew, Mark, and Luke was to “go” into the world to preach the Gospel and make disciples. The culmination of the Christian life is joining the adventure known as the “Great Commission”. Due to technology, Christians in Generation Z and the Millennials have the opportunity to impact their peers like never before as they live out the Great Commission.
For more information about participating in The Commissioning in Spartanburg, SC on January 27, 2024, click here.