James Emery White: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World
Meet Generation Z
Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World
(Baker Books, 2017)
WHO: James Emery White, founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and former president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
HE SAYS: “As the first truly post-Christian generation, and numerically the largest, Generation Z will be the most influential religious force in the West and the heart of the missional challenge facing the Christian church.”
THE BIG IDEA: Generation Z—those born between 1993 and 2012—are changing our culture and consequently the church. Leaders need to rethink old evangelistic and apologetic methods, cultivate a culture of invitation and communicate with these young people right where they are.
Part 1 details the new realities facing the Christian church in the post-Christian West, then introduces Generation Z—what marks them and makes them, including specific family contexts that are unlike any other time in history.
Part 2 discusses the importance of the church becoming countercultural and looks at how to speak into today’s culture. This section also explores new approaches to evangelism as well as decisions the author’s church has made to reach the unchurched and Generation Z.
The book concludes with three appendices that feature talks the author gave at his church that reflect issues relevant to reaching Generation Z.
“We are trying to reach the unchurched and, even more than that, the nones, in view of the pressing challenge of the rise of Generation Z. So our discipleship is going to be twofold: serve the needs of existing believers for missional engagement and disciple the newly converted on the most foundational aspects of Christian life and thought.”
A 2018 Outreach Resource of the Year—Youth Category
Evaluated by Russel St. Bernard
“This book is broken into two parts: First, he presents the new reality, giving us the background on the generation and how it views the church. In this section we also learn more about how Generation Z was developed and what influences them.”
”In the second part, the author walks through a new approach to reaching this generation. The research done throughout the book, including charts and graphs, is very helpful. At the end of the book is an outline of decisions that the author’s church has made as a result of the research. These decisions are listed briefly but will be helpful for leaders and churches that consider them.”
Russell St. Bernard, an Outreach magazine consulting editor; the director of ministry operations and outreach at Reid Temple AME Church’s north campus in Glenn Dale, Maryland; and the founder of After the Music Stops.