CO adapts to first 'post- Christian' generation
This semester’s incoming freshman class (dubbed Generation Z), represents the first “post-Christian” generation in the United States, according to a recent Barna Group study.
“More than any other generation before them, Gen Z does not assert a religious identity…The percentage of Gen Z that identifies as atheist is double that of the U.S. adult population,” The Barna Group reported.
Now, more than ever, Campus Outreach’s evangelistic and discipleship training can impact an entire generation that might not be exposed to gospel teaching through another source.
And while this atheistic trend might seem alarming, we’ve seen an encouraging parallel trend in Campus Outreach involvement across the U.S.
Traditionally, Campus Outreach events were divided into two categories: outreach and discipleship. But, as this new generation seeks meaningful community, and answers to difficult questions, that line is beginning to blur.
Discipleship focused events like Discipleship Groups and Summer Projects, which were designed to develop Christian leaders, are now attracting an increasing number of non-Christian students who want to learn more.
This summer, at a CO Leadership Project that included students from San Diego, Denver and Montana, a record eight students claimed salvation. CO Birmingham reported a similar development as 32 participants, who did not formerly identify as Christians, accepted Christ. This is a trend sweeping CO franchises across the nation.
For non-believing Generation Z students, this process often begins during the fall semester where they meet a CO student leader or a staff person. As a relationship develops, these students ask questions and view Discipleship Groups and Summer Projects as an opportunity to explore Christianity.
With this shift in the CO ministry, we ask you to please join us in praying for our staff and CO student leaders as we seek to reach a new generation of college students in the U.S. This first semester is a crucial time to connect with new students who are seeking something deeper.