RYM 026: What You Need To Know About Generation Z

This generation of middle school and high school students, known as Generation Z, is unlike any other. But what sets them apart from the generations that preceded them? And how can the Church best serve and influence them? This week, join Tom Shefchunas, Crystal Chiang, Ashley Bohinc, and Sarah Anderson for a conversation on what Generation Z is all about, how they’re different from the generations before them, and what that means for us as youth workers.

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Generation Z is defined as anyone born in 1995 or later. (1:00)

What are the differences between millennials and Gen Z? (7:00)

When it comes to the Church, this generation really is a blank slate. (7:30)

Gen Z identifies their success so much by how they’re performing. (8:30)

Every generation is shaped by the crisis they’ve experienced. For most of Gen Z, that was the 2007-2008 financial crisis. (9:00)

We’re all a reaction to the generation behind us. (14:00)

Gen Z has an attention span of about eight seconds. (15:30)

When it comes to creating an environment that students want to attend, the number one thing a kid wants in the room is more students. (19:00)

This generation cares so much about authenticity. (20:00)

If it’s true that a parent is the number one influence on a student’s life, we can’t really do ministry apart from a parent, even if the parent is not a believer. (22:30)

This is a generation that has something to say. (29:30)

Our best bet as leaders is to aim for authenticity with this generation. (32:00)

As leaders, we have to get better at adjusting culturally when it comes to generational shifts. (33:30)





Sarah is a writer and communicator who has been involved in ministry since 2003. In 2007, she joined the XP3 high school team where she now works as a lead writer and content creator. She also a contributing writer to the Parent Cue blog. Sarah lives in Roswell, Georgia, and is a big fan of her husband, her two boys, Asher and Pace, and, in her weaker moments, McDonald’s french fries.



Tom Shefchunas is the Executive Director of Student Strategy at Orange. In this role, he leads the development and strategy for XP3 Middle School and High School curriculum. Previously, Tom was North Point Ministries’ Multi-Campus Director of Transit, their middle school ministry, for 12 years. And before that, he spent 10 years as a high school teacher, coach, and principal. Additionally, he is the co-author of Lead Small with Reggie Joiner. Tom and his wife, Julie, live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey, and Cooper.



Crystal currently leads the XP3 High School initiative at Orange. Before that, she spent 10 years as a high school teacher and student ministry leader, doing everything from leading small groups to speaking to curriculum design. Crystal and her husband, Tom, live in Alpharetta, GA with an ill-tempered chihuahua named Javier.



Ashley Bohinc serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange, co-host of The Think Orange Podcast, and co-author of The Art of Group Talk. She’s worked with students in public education, athletic, and ministry settings since 2005. Ashley is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating onstage, developing leaders, working with students, and engaging in world missions. Additionally, she’s the USA Director of Carry 117. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.

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Orange Conference 2018