Gen Z MIA?

Why are Gen Z Missing In Action (MIA) from our Aussie churches today?

On October 31, 2019, we hosted a special event exclusively for our Malyon alumni community. After a great night hearing from some inspiring Christian leaders passionate about equipping people to reach others for the gospel, we’re pleased to make the slides and video available to all.

The Theme? 

“Where did all the young people go? Advice for a post-Christendom church.”

While we delved into trends impacting Gen Y (born 1981-1995, aged 24-38 in 2019), we looked squarely at what’s happening for Gen Z (born 1995-2009, aged 10-24 in 2019). Drawing on some of the pertinent statistics specific to Australia:

Why is it that 70% of those saying they’re Christian are technically ‘drop outs’ with little to no association with the church? How come only 8% of ‘Christians’ are resilient disciples?

Why do more than half of Gen Z eschew all religious identification (52% are ‘religious nones’), and half of those apparently committed to Christianity leave the church post-high school?

What changed from the status quo pre-1960s such that only a third of young people believe in God–less than hold to karma (50%).

And what can be done when over half of Gen Z hold that strong religious beliefs make people intolerant, and only 40% believe religion is good for people and important to society.

In short, in a post-institutional, increasingly post-Christian age, how might the church better understand and reach out to church-phobic Gen Z, and strengthen those who remain?

The Speakers?

Dr David Benson, Director of Traverse, the Malyon Centre for Bridging Church and Culture ( …

Keira Reid, Malyon College Student and Gen Z Informant! Keira shared her personal story of coming to faith as a teen, and being loved long enough to stick around when many of her friends didn’t get it, never came, or quickly left.

Dan Paterson, itinerant speaker with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (, charting avenues for God conversations in our secular age (see full manuscript, paper and slides for “Faith, Facts & Feelings: Christian Persuasion in a Post-Secular Age) …

The Resources?

Alumni Event Youtube Video Link

Dave: Gen Z/Post-Christendom Intro (0:00 + SBS Doco Trailer “Christians Like Us“) + Talk (0:12.35)
Keira: Talk (0:31.06)
Dan: Talk (0:45.16)
Q&A (1:07.07)

Click here for a pdf of the powerpoint slides.

And to continue the conversation, consider Keira’s 3 questions and discuss with youth and young adults near you!

(1) How are we showing young people that Jesus is more desirable and holds more answers than what the world has to offer?

(2) How are we consistently teaching, challenging and encouraging young people in the practical day-to-day life of their faith?

(3) How are we leaving room for young people to question their faith, to share their confessions and to ask the big questions?

The Research?

A bunch of key books and reports, mostly centred on the Aussie context, informed what we shared.

Last but definitely not least, for arguably the best researched and most solid framework around which to build your church’s response, see the Fuller Youth Institute book by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin, Growing Young: 6 Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church (2016), alongside their website,