Louie Giglio, founding pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, said he believes millennials and Generation Z are some of today's most effective evangelists because they are cause-driven and have a high sense of social responsibility.
“I’ve always had a burden for the ‘university moment,’” Giglio told The Christian Post. “I believe that God has a purpose and plan for 18- to 25-year-olds, from millennials to Generation Z. I think they get unfairly painted with a broad stroke when they’re actually a generation God cares deeply about. They want to be led and believed in, and they’re one of the most cause-driven generations I’ve encountered.”
Giglio is the founder of the Passion movement, a gathering of young people that has been going on yearly since 1997. He shared how, in past years, Passion students have raised $8.3 million to fight modern-day slavery through Passion and the END IT Movement.
This year, students raised $448,370 for the Deaf Bible Society as part of Hope in Every Language, a campaign that helps fund and distributes translations of the stories of Jesus into the sign languages of areas that haven't been reached.
“These are poor students who are scrounging for ramen noodles,” Giglio said. “They don’t have any money, yet they’re giving what little they have to causes that mean something to them, and that makes them some of today’s greatest evangelists. Passion believes in this age group because God has believed in them.”
Giglio shared how his heart for the next generation began when he started graduate school at Baylor University several decades ago.
“I saw so many people at the crossroads of life, where they would come to a college campus and be away from their support system and the church they grew up in and suddenly had all of this freedom,” he said. “I saw so many people putting their faith on hold and not coming back to it until they were 40 and on their second divorce.”
“But 18, 19, 20-year-olds need to see the risen Jesus right here, and right now,” he continued. “They need to understand that the best thing they can do is live for God’s glory. And at Passion, we've seen tens of thousands of young people come to Christ."
The pastor told CP that while it’s been a number of years since he attended Baylor, the temptations and issues facing young people today haven’t changed. Still, the introduction of social media has posed challenges unseen just a few decades ago, he said.
“It’s put us all under a microscope,” he said of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. “Take the case of someone who has lived through a divorce. They don’t have the presence of a dad, and they pick up their phones to find solace or some relief, and what do they see? They see everyone’s filtered life and best-case scenario.”
“Social media,” he continued, “has put this generation behind the eight ball wondering, ‘How can I measure up to this?’ instead of asking, ‘How can I do what God says I can do?’ It’s given this generation an identity crisis. We need to put our perspective on technology in check and focus on what God says about our identity.”
Giglio, who wrote the book, Not Forsaken: Finding Freedom As Sons and Daughters of a Perfect Father, pointed out that more than 1 in 4 children lives without a father in the home. He told CP that the introduction of “no-fault divorce” in 1970 directly contributed to the breakdown of the family.
“Without a hearing or judge, anyone can end their marriage today,” he said. “It seems easy and painless, but now we’re bearing the fruit of that. This is the first generation where a quarter of children grow up without a father, and that’s having devastating effects on society.”
“Once you have a destructive view of your earthly father, then is possible you’re going to struggle to have a relationship with God the Father,” he continued. “That’s one of Satan’s greatest lies.”
PULSE founder Nick Hall, who has been called "the next Billy Graham," previously told The Christian Post that he believes millennials and Generation Z make up a “revival generation.”
Like Giglio, Hall said he finds millennials and Gen Z to be particularly cause-driven, positioning them well to fulfill the Great Commission — something he believes will happen in our lifetime.
"Millennials and Gen Z want a cause bigger than themselves," he said. "They're also passionate, and there's such a willingness to love, to serve, and to get their hands dirty. This is also the first generation where there isn't a division between the sacred and the secular; this generation understands that everything is ministry. If you know Jesus, then you are called to this work of being a light wherever you go. This generation wants to see Jesus made much of and for people everywhere to experience His love."
Hall, who has shared the Gospel in person to nearly 3 million students, told CP this generation "cares deeply for their faith, while also caring deeply for their neighbor, for the refugee and for the outcast."
"I look into the eyes of teenagers and college kids today, and I'm encouraged," he said. "There's power in unity, and that's something this generation understands. They understand lifting one another's arms to something bigger than us."