In The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer comments on his generation: “Secularism, materialism, and the intrusive presence of things have put out the light in our souls and turned us into a generation of zombies.” Tozer’s assessment is timeless and true of my generation too—Generation Z. Gen Z is disenchanted with and disconnected from the local church, uninterested in religion and Christianity especially. Many of us are walking around like spiritual zombies.
Sometimes I question why I invest in my local church despite my generation’s apathy. Why do I attend Sunday morning worship? Why do I return to a weekly small group? Why do I volunteer in the youth ministry even though some students may abandon the church in the future? Why do I keep showing up?
I do all those things because I love my local church. Here are three reasons why.
1. I love my local church because we share the love of Christ.
My church models well what Jesus tells his disciples in John 13:34–35. He instructs us to love one another just as he loves us. And he says outsiders will know we’re his disciples by our love for one another.
Sometimes I question why I invest in my local church despite my generation’s hesitancy.
At my church, members have gone out of their way to organize meal trains for others in need. Youth have planned birthday parties for committed mentors. Small groups have gathered to enjoy a meal, talk about life, and dive into God’s Word. Pastors have given countless hours to care for the sick, the hurting, and those wrestling with addiction. It’s a blessing to be a part of a local church where we love one another dearly because of Jesus’s great love.
2. I love my local church because we keep the gospel central.
The gospel is the centerpiece of church doctrine. Paul expressed this in his rebukes of the Galatian church (e.g., Gal. 1:6–7). He was astonished they had abandoned the gospel for lesser beliefs. Belief in the true gospel is paramount to the church’s identity and witness. I’m grateful to be in a church of gospel-believing Christians who refuse to settle for less.
My pastors preach the gospel and exhort the flock to know and proclaim it. The gospel doesn’t remain in the pulpit—it permeates our church culture. Business meetings, ministry efforts, and worship services are all driven by the gospel. But I’m most thankful for our consistency in proclaiming the gospel. I’m confident that every time visitors step through the doors, they’ll hear the gospel—and not just from the pulpit but from members.
3. I love my local church because we’re colaborers.
According to Paul, the goal of the many church offices is to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). Church leaders aren’t meant to do everything themselves but to equip members to carry out ministry. I’m thankful to be in a church of cultivated colaborers, equipped by faithful pastors.
I’m thankful to be in a church of cultivated colaborers, equipped by faithful pastors.
Our staff is entirely part-time; there isn’t a single full-time staff member. So the church staff relies heavily on members engaging in the work of ministry. Members step up to join church plants, serve in the children’s and student ministries, set up meals for staff meetings, or reorganize the worship center after a blood drive. The members of my church are committed to serving and building up the body of Christ.
I’m part of an apathetic generation, but by God’s grace, I love being a member of my local church. I’m not drawn to it because the church is doing anything crazy—they’re just faithfully living as the body of Christ. If you want to reach Gen Z, open up your homes, listen to our cries, take interest in our interests, pray for us, and show us you care. What this generation of zombies needs most is the life-giving message of the gospel.