GENERATION Z & What Churches Need to Know About Generation Z

by Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends, 8/9/16.

While many churches remain concerned about attracting millennials, a new generation of adults is emerging with their own identity.

Generation Z, also known as iGen, are more than 25 percent of America’s population. The oldest members of this generation turn 18 this year. Just who are they and what does the church need to know about them?

New research reported by The Washington Post reveals a complicated picture of the generation born since 1998.

1. First true digital native generation

… Since they were born, Generation Z has grown up connected to the web and social media. They are the first generation to have their parents post baby pictures and dance recitals on Facebook. Today Gen Zers are documenting their lives on Instagram and Snapchat.

…But this increased exposure has brought unintended consequences. More than 4 in 10 members of Generation Z (42 percent) say social media impacts their self-esteem.

Churches should focus on helping tweens and teens find their identity and self-worth in Christ, not in the online opinion of others.

2. Love to communicate, but not always with words

… Instead of reading texts or blogs, they would rather interact with video and other visual forms. And they would rather do it online than with a television. Among 13- to 24-year-olds, 96 percent watched online video content over the past week at an average of 11 hours a week. By contrast, 81 percent of the same group watched scheduled TV for an average of 8 hours weekly.

You can also see Generation Z’s preference for visual interaction with their top three social media platforms, according to the research in The Washington Post. More than half like Vine (54 percent) and Instagram (52 percent), while a third enjoy Twitter (34 percent). The first two are video and photo sharing sites and Twitter increasingly incorporates images and videos.

…Learn how to use video content, like the new Instagram Stories. Here are five ways churches can use that feature.

3. Most racially diverse generation

…Among Americans under 18, whites comprise just over half (52 percent), according to Census analysis by Brookings. As you examine younger segments of Generation Z, the diversity only grows. Looking at the Census data, Pew Research found whites are a minority among children under 5.

Fourteen states already have “majority minority” populations under 18. And in half the states, Generation Z is more than 40 percent minority.

The need for churches to become multicultural is only going to increase as Generation Z enters adulthood. Being surrounded by people from different ethnicities and cultures is becoming the norm for this generation.

[Read more about multicultural churches in Facts & Trendsissue “United by the Gospel.”]

4. Only beginning their cultural influence

… Early research indicates this new generation is less idealistic and more thrifty than millennials. As they take on more societal influence, their traits—for better or worse—will hold more sway over culture.

If trends continue, fewer members of Generation Z will see religion as important, according to Pew Research.

Evangelical churches will need to find ways to retain children who grow up attending their churches and reach the growing number of the emerging adults who come from unchurched families. After researching college students, a study found eight steps churches can take now to reach (and keep) young adults.

Read more at … http://factsandtrends.net/2016/08/09/what-churches-need-to-know-about-generation-z/#.V6oSnlT3aJI

BIBLE & Even non-believers may want to visit the $400 million Museum of the Bible

by Jonathan O’Connell, The Washington Post, 2/13/14.

The main entrance is to be flanked by two large bronze panels lettered with passages from ancient manuscripts. On the roof will be a “Biblical garden,” filled with plant species that were around at the dawn of Christianity. A newly built wing will be clad in layers of handmade bricks from Denmark, meant to evoke the layers of history as they were recorded.

When it opens in late 2017, just about every aspect of the planned Museum of the Bible — the building materials, doorways and common areas — are intended to bring to mind the Holy Land or stories from the good book itself.

An exterior rendering of the Museum of the Bible. (Smith Group JJR)An exterior rendering of the Museum of the Bible. (Smith Group JJR)

Even architectural enthusiasts who could care less about the Bible may take an interest in the $400 million project…

Read more at … http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/digger/wp/2015/02/12/even-non-believers-may-want-to-visit-the-400-million-museum-of-the-bible/

MULTIETHNIC & These 10 charts show the black-white economic gap hasn’t budged in 50 years #Washingto nPost

by Brad Plumer The Washington Post,August 28, 2013.

… My colleague Michael A. Fletcher published a big piece … noting that the United States hasn’t made much progress in closing the economic chasm between blacks and whites since the March on Washington 50 years ago.

“Even as racial barriers have been toppled and the nation has grown wealthier and better educated,” Fletcher writes, “the economic disparities separating blacks and whites remain as wide as they were when marchers assembled on the Mall in 1963.”

It’s an excellent story, worth reading in full. It’s also worth charting.

1) The black unemployment rate has consistently been twice as high as the white unemployment rate for 50 years:

ratio-of-unemployment.png&w=480

A recent report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) notes that this gap hasn’t closed at all since 1963. Back then, the unemployment rate was 5 percent for whites and 10.9 percent for blacks. Today, it’s 6.6 percent for whites and 12.6 percent for blacks.

2) For the past 50 years, black unemployment has been well above recession levels:

black-unemployment-vs-recessions.png&w=480

“Indeed,” notes EPI, “black America is nearly always facing an employment situation that would be labeled a particularly severe recession if it characterized the entire labor force. From 1963 to 2012, the … annual black unemployment rate averaged 11.6 percent. This was… higher than the average annual national unemployment rate during the recessions in this period — 6.7 percent.”

3) The gap in household income between blacks and whites hasn’t narrowed in the last 50 years:

income over years

This chart comes from a recent Census report on income and poverty. Note that just about everyone’s seen a decline in real household income since 1999.

4) In fact, the wealth disparity between whites and blacks grew even wider during the Great Recession.

wealth-urban.png&w=480

“The wealth gap between minorities and whites has not improved over the past three decades,” reports the Urban Institute. “From 1983 to 2010, average family wealth for whites has been about six times that of blacks and Hispanics — the gap in actual dollars growing as average wealth increased for both groups.” And the Great Recession exacerbated that gap, as blacks and Hispanics were hit especially hard.

5) The black poverty rate is no longer declining:

MLK-poverty

Black poverty fell quickly between 1959 and 1969, from 55.1 percent to 32.2 percent. But after that, the drop was slower and more uneven. In 2011, 27.6 percent of black households were in poverty — nearly triple the poverty rate for whites.

6) Black children are far more likely than whites to live in areas of concentrated poverty:

concentrated-poverty.png&w=480

“Arrested progress in the fight against poverty and residential segregation has helped concentrate many African Americans in some of the least desirable housing in some of the lowest-resourced communities in America,” the EPI report notes.

And those poorer neighborhoods have a way of perpetuating inequality, the report points out: “Poor black neighborhoods also have environmental hazards that impact health. A very serious one is higher exposure to lead, which impedes learning, lowers earnings, and heightens crime rates. While rates of lead exposure have been declining for all races, African American children continue to have the highest exposure rate.”

7) Our schools are more segregated today than in 1980

desegregation-schools.png&w=480

“Although the share of black children in segregated schools had dropped to 62.9 percent by the early 1980s, the subsequent lack of commitment by the federal government and multiple Supreme Court decisions antagonistic to school desegregation have led to a reversal,” notes EPI.

Why does that matter? “Promoting school integration is important because — now as a half century ago — segregated schools are unequal schools,” the report adds. “The more nonwhite students a school has, the fewer resources it has. A 10 percentage-point increase in the share of nonwhite students in a school is associated with a $75 decrease in per student spending.”

8) The marriage gap has widened over the past 50 years:

marriage

This data comes from Pew: “Marriage rates have fallen for all groups since the 1960s, but more sharply for blacks than for whites. In 1960, 74% of white adults were married, as were 61% of black adults… By 2011, the black marriage rate had fallen to 56% that of the white rate: 55% of whites were married, compared with 31% of blacks.”

Relatedly, the Census recently reported that 52.1 percent of black children are living in single-parent homes, versus just 19.9 percent of white children:

children-single-parent.png&w=480

Why does any of this matter? Here’s Pew: “Marriage is considered an indicator of well-being in part because married adults are economically better off, although that may reflect the greater propensity of affluent adults to marry.”

9) Blacks are still far more likely to be uninsured than whites. That’s true for both adults and children:

health-insurance-coverage-by-age-and-raceethnicity-2011-disparities.png&w=480

The chart above comes from a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which notes that the Affordable Care Act could shrink the gap: “The large majority of uninsured people of color have incomes that would qualify for the ACA Medicaid expansion or premium tax credits for exchange coverage.” That said, a lot depends on how many states decide to expand Medicaid coverage under the new law.

10) The racial disparity in incarceration rates is bigger than it was in the 1960s:

SDT-racial-relations-08-2013-03-11

Read more at … http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/28/these-seven-charts-show-the-black-white-economic-gap-hasnt-budged-in-50-years/