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Secondary Principal Blog

Janie Niswonger

In a recent Chapel message, I shared the following statements with our secondary students and asked if they agreed or disagreed. The students had so much to say that we ran out of time. In this month’s blog, I will share some talking points, questions for dialogue, and Scripture, and invite you to continue this conversation at home. What impressed me in Chapel was how much our students rejected the values of the world. They immediately viewed these statements through a Biblical worldview. I hope you will enjoy hearing what your students have to say about their generation and how God’s Word applies to the messages they are receiving. 

Ask Your Student

Julia Kim and Abby Davis

According to Tim Elmore, a leadership and next generation expert, these are some of Gen Z’s core beliefs: 

  1. Because everything moves so quickly, SLOW IS BAD. 
  2. Because students have access to so many conveniences, HARD IS BAD. 
  3. Because everyone is constantly vying for their attention in entertaining ways, BORING IS BAD. 
  4. Because parents are so attentive and quick to rescue, RISK IS BAD. 
  5. Because they have been born in an era of ease and excess, LABOR IS BAD. 

Ask your student: Do you agree or disagree that “Slow is Bad”?

There are countless promises in Scripture tied to our being still and waiting on the Lord. Consider the verses below. What do we gain when we slow down? 

  • For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5
  • Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes…For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. Psalm 37:7-9
  • The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25

Ask your student: Do you agree or disagree that “Hard is Bad”? 

Have you ever experienced something difficult producing something good? Why does James tell us to embrace challenging circumstances? 

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

Ask your student: Do you agree or disagree that “Boring is Bad”? 

According to an article by the Mayo Clinic, when the brain is bored, it rests and recharges. This is when creativity and problem-solving are developed. Have you ever come up with a really good idea when you were bored? 

Search your Bible. What Biblical evidence is there that Jesus knew the value of retreating to a solitary place and quieting his mind? (Luke 5:16, Matthew 6:30-32, for example)

  • When you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Psalm 4:4
  • Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Ask your student: Do you agree or disagree that “Risk is Bad”? 

One of the trends we are seeing in Generation Z is increased anxiety and fear of failure. Read the parable of the bags of gold in Matthew 25. Why was the master mad at the servant? How does this parable apply to our lives? Through the Holy Spirit, God has given us tools for accomplishing great things. Have you ever taken a risk and seen it pay off? 

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Ask your student: Do you agree or disagree that “Labor is Bad”? 

Have you ever had to work really hard for something? How did it feel? Are you glad you put in the effort? Why? 

  • Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24 
  • All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23 
  • Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor. Proverbs 12:24 

Next generation experts also have a lot to say about the strengths of Gen Z. 

  1. They form ideas sensibly and realistically, based on evidence. 
  2. They are very redemptive. They love people no matter how different they are. 
  3. They are very creative and entrepreneurial. 
  4. They love their families.   
  5. They care about social issues. 
  6. It is important to them to leave a positive mark on the world. 

Each generation of believers must take what is good from their culture and use it to the glory of God while rejecting that which is counter to God’s Word. Doing that takes courage and discernment. Let us continue to pray together for the spiritual growth of our students that they will believe what God says is true about them and will allow His Word to shape their core beliefs and values.