God is on the Move in This Generation

Young people have always been central to who we are as Youth With A Mission. Their energy, their zeal, their willingness to try new things and forge new paths. I’m so encouraged to see how God is moving in this generation. There has been lots of talk in the media over the last few years about Gen Z, often outlining their vulnerabilities and needs. And although they, like every generation before them, certainly face unique challenges, I am convinced they are also uniquely gifted by God “for such a time as this.”  

There's a deep hunger for truth with this generation, perhaps more than I think I've ever seen in my years in leadership. They are hungry for truth. They really want to find it, because they've experienced so much of everything else the world has to offer. 

In some ways, certainly for those in the West, we find ourselves in a similar situation to the 1960’s and 70’s. Some of the mindsets are similar – societal disruption, sexual confusion, searching for truth. And who would have thought that God would have broken out in that setting as He did? I have a real sense of faith that God wants to break out again, that God wants to turn up in this generation. 

But what does it take to get young people from a place of potential to a place of activation in God’s purposes? In my observation, I think the unchanging element is young people are looking for community. They're looking for leaders with a commitment of love and care, leaders that are quick to release, but there to support.  

I think those elements are more needed now than ever, because of how this generation is wired. They're less tolerant if you're not genuine. They're less tolerant if they don't feel ownership. They have a real desire to be collaborative, and once they have those things, then there's just an incredible willingness to jump in. They want to be supported, but they want to be a part of shaping the outcomes. I think the more we can lead in that way at every level, we're going to mobilise this generation effectively. 

I think of young leaders like Sami, who did training with us. She’s a young woman who had a real sense of calling to go to Nepal and to be in missions, but she wasn’t sure how to get there. So she came and did training with us, was mentored and equipped, and now she's long-term in Nepal, leading a pioneering team that we continue to support. She's phenomenal, and really investing in serving the unreached people there.* She is one of countless young people, actively committed to pursuing God and His purposes on the earth.  

Here, Kate Smith, who serves with PTX, our ministry engaging music and creative culture, shares her reflections as a young, emerging leader in YWAM: 

“I think the thing that's helped me grow most as a leader is just being thrown into situations and into leadership roles. It's not that there aren't leaders around me, or other people around me to help, should I be in a situation where it's too much. But actually having the space and trust so that I'm able just to go and do it, has really helped me grow. I don't always get it right, but that's part of the process. It's part of the growing.  

“There's definitely been input from leaders in "Have you thought about doing this? Have you thought about that?” Offering ideas. But there's been a lot of trust of "Well, if you don't think that that's the right way to do it, and you have another way, then that's great.” So there's a balance between the two, because I think something that Gen Z really needs is the championing and the celebrating. 

"That’s something we [as the Church] could do better, because a lot of what the media tells us as Gen Z is "You can't do anything and you're not very good at anything." But I think actually we're a lot more of a resilient generation than people realise. We have ideas and we have vision. I think the biggest thing that Gen Z brings [to missions] is a freshness. There's new vision, and there's fresh ways of doing things.” 

With stories like these in mind, there's this deep, deep conviction in my heart that what we're doing in the area of Christian discipleship is needed now more than ever, in terms of raising up a generation of leaders who would go, and who would really lead into revival. Thank you for standing with us in prayer and partnership, as we trust God to explode the potential of this generation.  


Caleb Brownhill, on behalf of the Directors of YWAM Perth


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