The youngest generation in the United States entering the workforce is commonly known as Generation Z. This cohort of individuals, born roughly sometime between 1997 and 2012, are the first truly digitally native generation, having all matured during the age of the smartphone and the always-connected world we live in today. They also may be uniquely suited for missional enterprise.
For one, many signs point to this generation being noticeably more inclined toward entrepreneurship than previous generations. A study of over 6000 participants in the Junior Achievement Worldwide program found Gen Z to be “very entrepreneurially minded, coveting careers that allow them to generate original ideas and collaborate on solving global challenges.”
While the financial crisis that began in 2008 seemed to discourage the previous generation’s entrepreneurial impulses, the current generation of entrepreneurs have been resilient in the face of the pandemic and shutdowns of the last two years. As reported on nasdaq.com:
The National Bureau of Economic Research reported a record number of new business applications in the latter half of 2020, and continuing on through May of this year. These applications included likely new employers, a trend that is the polar opposite of what was seen during the Great Recession when likely new employer businesses and startups dropped off sharply. Young minds have seen opportunity and are stepping into the entrepreneurial space in droves.
Gen Z is also strongly inclined to build businesses that make a social impact. Echoing the words we at Missional Enterprise use to describe the triple bottom line, an article from Worth magazine described Gen Z in this way: “They’re Driven to Make a Difference, Not Just a Profit.”
Furthermore, despite living in a post-Christian climate and holding skeptical views of evangelistic strategies, Christians in Gen Z do appear to have a missional mindset. A recent Barna Group survey, as reported in Christianity Today, found that “Gen Z believers want to share about Jesus, and they are having deep, personal conversations about their faith with their friends.” Specifically,
According to Reviving Evangelism in the Next Generation, produced in partnership with Alpha USA, 82 percent of Christians between the ages of 13 and 18 say that it’s important to them to share their faith. And nearly 80 percent say they have had a conversation about faith with someone at least once in the past year.
Here at US Navigators Missional Enterprise, we are excited to provide opportunities for this next generation of enterprising disciples of Jesus to be equipped. Our M3 Interns program provides paid internships to gain genuine work experience while learning about the triple bottom line of missional enterprise. Internships can be powerful and critical opportunities to develop the next generation. A Gallup report indicated that:
About 40% of students say they plan to start a business and/or invent something that will change the world. The problem is, less than 5% of these students are participating in internships at companies or organizations.
If you know of anyone who might be interested in an opportunity to explore missional enterprise through a paid internship this year, use the email link below to get them connected to us.
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4
For those with more experience in missional enterprise, how can you commend God’s works to the next generation? For those who are the next generation, how can you find mentors and pursue other opportunities to grow in your stewardship of the work of glorifying God through missional enterprise?