James Emery White
Baker, 2017. 224pp.
In Meet Generation Z, James White gives an excellent explanation of the world that Generation Z—anyone under 25 years of age—finds itself in. As the title mentions, they are a post-Christian generation, that is, the church no longer has the same hold on or authority over them as it did with previous generations.
To address this paradigm shift, Dr. White splits his book into two sections. In the first, he explains the new reality this generation faces, like the consequences of living with the internet in your pocket. In the second part he explains how best to approach this generation and include them in the church.
Dr. White balances the very well sourced facts in his book with experiences from his long career in ministry. From explaining the arrival of “the nones” as a new religious category, to the current cultural views on homosexuality, to how to best evangelize Generation Z, Dr. White speaks with authority. The book ends with three sermons Dr. White has presented at his own church, all of which tie-in with the topics covered in the book.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
Meet Generation Z should be required reading for all pastors, leaders, and volunteers involved in Next Generation Ministry. It is easy to think that a few conversations a week with young people or some time browsing the web sites that Generation Z frequents will equip you to help them. While these things are useful, it would be next to impossible to collect the amount of helpful information that is in this book. It is also worth noting that Dr. White speaks from experience. The book contains many suggestions and warnings for those that are involved in pastoring this generation.
Of particular interest should be the personal accounts of Dr. White dealing with those who he knew he would disagree with. While Dr. White’s views do not appear to stray from standard evangelical theology, while his language choice and attitudes are greatly appreciated by many in his community. Stories of those interactions are shared with the reader. Even if the reader differs with some of Dr. White’s views, his best practices would be valuable to any church that intends to continue spreading the Gospel to the next generation and beyond.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
This Lifeway Pastors book review was written by Laz Martinez.
Also, listen to Pastor Talk, Ep.12 feat. James Emery White, and don’t forget to subscribe.