Anxiety, depression and other mental illness diseases plague Generation Z and Millennials unlike any other generation that our country has seen. According to Forbes Magazine, the numbers are staggering. Depression among Generation Z and Millennials is at an all-time high, along with other mental illness issues like anxiety. Erwin McManus, pastor of Mosaic church in Los Angeles, believes that there is a need to help the younger generation confront their anxiety and fears. The average membership age of Mosaic is 26, which amazing McManus because he’s a sixty-year-old man.
McManus’ heartbeat and passion are mentoring and spending time with Generation Z and Millennials. For the last two decades, the pastor has enjoyed reaching the younger generation. Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, Mosaic reaches mainly non-churched, creative-types, who according to McManus, have a deep desire to grow but feel paralyzed. He also enjoys writing with this generation in mind, which is why he enjoyed writing his latest book, The Way of the Warrior. McManus has written and spoken to this generation often.
McManus believes there are six steps in helping the younger generation tap into the power that they have.
STEP ONE: LEAD THEM TO PEACE
McManus muses about the beginning of the 21st century, when many evangelicals were plagued by the Y2K fears. We were fearful that the world was going to end and if it didn’t end, mass riots would break out. He still remembers thinking to himself, “why are the people who should be the most at peace freaking out?” To this end, McManus believes we have prime opportunity for the body of Christ to empower young adults who struggle with a lack of peace, to find peace.
STEP TWO: HELP THEM NOT ALWAYS NEED TO BE SEEN
For a generation that is always on, providing moments for them to be invisible is valuable. McManus states that ” the millennial generation has the potential to be the warriors that God has called them to be and any good warrior must be okay not being seen.” For a generation that has never known a world without social media, being seen is all they know.
STEP THREE: EMPOWER THEM TO SERVE OTHERS
It pains McManus that Generation Z and Millennials have been given so much. They have a strong desire to help others but because of their anxiety and fear, they feel paralyzed. McManus believes that by providing opportunities for young adults to serve, we are helping them to get out of the box and truly live.
STEP FOUR: HELP THEM DISCOVER IDENTITY
McManus asserts that this generation has a hard time understanding the effect of the toxic bad habits because they don’t truly know themselves. McManus quotes ” if you don’t know yourself, you will never know your enemy.”
STEP FIVE: COMFORT THEM IN DEFEAT
For many millennials, they have been sheltered, which according to McManus does not produce resilience. He believes that this is why so many young adults have a hard time dealing with defeat and setback.
STEP SIX: HELP THEM RECOGNIZE THE POWER WITHIN
So much has been given to this generation, McManus quotes ” If they are fearful and anxious, they will never use the power that’s been given to them.” Therefore, McManus believes that the church should be leading the way illustrating the power that’s been given to us by Jesus. It’s no mystery to McManus in why the enemy would want to paralyze this generation with fear.
McManus can still remember hearing the words ” You have cancer! It felt like a death sentence when the doctor told me. However, I was never afraid because I knew that I had truly lived. My desire for Generation Z and Millennials is to live and to possess the warrior spirit that they have been given.”
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