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Columbus may have proven that the world is geographically round but the internet has flattened it again as it relates to culture and trends. When students look at the world they see no barriers, only the horizon.

Globalization plays a major role in the molding of student culture thus effecting student leaders. The fact that trends can be global rather than simply regional or that cultural nuance can be introduced, imported and imitated at the speed of light is challenging. It requires consistent study and awareness of cultural influences and biblical principles to maintain effective student ministries. Let’s examine the four molding influences of globalization on Gen Z students:

  1. The End of Monolithic Silo’d Cultures – Rural towns with as many farm animals as people are now as connected with Tokyo, London or Sydney as the corner hardware. Students in Minot can adopt cultural aspects of Auckland, have a best friend in Lisbon and listen to music from Paris.
  1. Diversification is replacing clearly defined lines. – Religion, sexual orientation, and the definition of family is all diversified for Gen Zers. The black, white and gray lines are shifting marked by the global influence in their lives.
  1. Communication of information (often sensitive) is now residing in the fingertips of children. – With children as young as two operating iPads, anything they hear can be repeated on social media. They are quick to expose anything or anyone they believe to be inauthentic.
  1. More potential power to shape world culture than previous generations. – This generation is conversing with peers around the globe (26%)’ thus wielding more influence than any previous generation ever. Every generation has had power to implement change, but entrepreneurial Gen Zers have an arsenal of culture shaping tools at their disposal.

Globalization has changed the way students live, think, communicate and dream. They no longer look at the world as a place that is foreign and unknowable. This is a perfect generation to tap to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth as they are already communicating with most of it!

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