Book Review: Meet Generation Z by James Emory White

As cultural norms and group identities change with every new generation, the message of the gospel must be contextualized in order to speak timeless truth to a new generation. In Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World, Dr. James Emery White writes one of the first books to be published on the generation born after 9/11/2001, which he terms “generation z.”  White argues that generation z is the first generation to grow up in a completely post-Christian America.

Meet Generation Z consists of two major sections.  In the first section, readers are introduced to generation z through the preferences, surveys, and statistics of this generation.  This section is some helpful and interesting research for anyone who seeks to minister to the post 9/11 generation.  The strong differences between generation z and the millennials displayed the shifts that happen between generations in ideologies and preferences, yet the religious interest and involvement of generation z was even in a stronger decline than that of the millennials.

The second section of the book focused on how to engage and minister to generation z. These tactics were all built from White’s ministry strategy at his own church. Throughout the second section of the book, it was unclear how the ministry strategy of White’s church was specifically targeted at generation z.  The target of his strategy seemed to be more focused on the unchurched and post-Christian culture as a whole.

The book concludes with an appendix featuring three sermon manuscripts from White’s church with messages on homosexuality, the spiritual world, and the existence of God.  The sermons were helpful resources in understanding how to engage controversial and important topics in a biblically faithful way that engages a post-Christian audience.

Though Meet Generation Z did not focus as much on the next generation as it could have, it was a helpful book for engaging those coming to church with no background of faith and encouraging the church to be intentional to culturally engage future generations.