Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace’s new book, So The Next Generation Will Know: Preparing Young Christians for a Challenging World, presents ways on how to teach the Christian worldview to the next generation of young people (Generation Z). The book is written for “parents, youth workers, Christian educators, and people who love young people and recognize the challenges they are facing” (22).
Two characteristics that I think best describe So The Next Generation Will Know are informative and practical.
The first thing I noticed about the book is that a ton of research was presented in it. It seems like every page includes important statistics about Generation Z that you need to know. For example, the authors reveal statistics such as the percentage of Gen Zers who think that “many religions can lead to eternal life” (81) and the percentage of young Christians who struggle with their faith after they graduate from high school (30).
The side sections throughout the book give specific tips for parents, youth workers, and Christian educators. For example, chapter 3 mentions establishing trust with Gen Zers. In order to accomplish this, youth pastors are encouraged to fact-check information before sharing it and to make sure they have done enough research before speaking on a given topic. If you don’t do these things, then Gen Zers will be able to tell and call you out on it. As McDowell and Wallace put it, “If you get too many things wrong, you will lose credibility, and thus your voice” (66).
But this book doesn’t just give you vital information that you must know in order to reach the next generation. It also gives practical methods on how to share this information and equip members of Gen Z!
One of my favorite examples is their method of “TAB Worldview Training” on pages 120-128. TAB stands for:
Behavior (Demeanor and Deeds)
The authors promote this method as a way to teach young people the truth claims of Christianity (Theology), why Christian claims are true (Apologetics), and why all of these things should matter to them (Behavior).
Another highlight is in chapter 7, “Love Explores”. Here McDowell and Wallace explain how to lead a TAB training mission. They make the point that training youth is important, but at some point they have to deploy! These trips are designed to better equip young people not just to interact with ideas in the culture, but also to interact with people who hold those ideas. The appendix also has sample trip itineraries that you could use.
As the authors say in the postscript, when you get to the end of the book, you may feel overwhelmed with the amount of content. But you have to start somewhere, so they recommend staring with one or two strategies from the book. Lastly, they encourage the reader to remember that our job is not as daunting as it may seem at first: we just have to be faithful.
Currently, I am not a parent, a youth worker (although I was for six years), or a Christian educator. However, I do care about young people coming to know Jesus. I do care about the truth of Christianity and how to communicate the Gospel effectively to all generations.
So even if you do not fall into the first three categories, this book will be extremely helpful to you! I highly recommend that you order your copy today!
If you pre-order the book before May 1st, you will also receive other free resources!
**I received this book for free in exchange for a review on this site.**