Spirit-Filled, Jesus-Loving Gen Zers Bring Real Hope for the Future of America

(Charisma Media archives)
A high school female who takes college courses and leads 45 teenagers in a Bible study that began with four girls on a couch.

A creator of Christian-themed videos that present Jesus and a designer of t-shirts that help prevent suicide.

An 18-year-old who has spread the gospel online to about 16.4 million people.

A young adult male who believes his generation will become the most biblically literate.

These three males and one female who share a passion for Jesus and spreading the gospel are Gen Zers — the generation born between 1999 and 2015 — of which only 4% ascribe to a biblical worldview.

With 199,996 more missionaries, along with people committed to prayer and adoption, another great Jesus People Movement is possible.

That's the message these four and others will carry to an estimated 60,000 people gathered at Arrowhead Stadium for The Send — a prophetic missions, prayer and adoption mobilization undertaking — in Kansas City on May 14.

One of them, evangelist Jacob Coyne, knows that a suicide occurs every 40 seconds globally. He helps saves lives — spiritually and physically — with TikTok and Instagram content, a prevention website, his podcasts, and t-shirts that read "Gen Z Will Be Suicide Free."

The ministry and website, stayhere.live/, saves lives, heals broken hearts and seeks to destigmatize mental health issues compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and world upheaval.

Bringing broken people like a girl named Camilla to Jesus is part of Coyne's heart behind producing videos.

For 30 consecutive days, Camilla watched Coyne pray and say, "If you need hope, if you need Jesus, I want to pray for you now."

"During the 30 days she started to get delivered from self-harm, addictions to lust, anger, anxiety and depression. This led Camilla to give her life to Jesus," says Coyne.

Camilla told Coyne her parents were also saved when she invited them to a neighborhood church, where all three were baptized.

Another girl, Joselyn, wore a "Gen Z Will Be Suicide Free" shirt to a baseball game. "Someone who planned to kill herself that night — and looking for a sign to live — asked Joselyn, 'What is your shirt about?'

"Joselyn shared the gospel of Jesus with this girl, then prayed with her then and there in the bathroom," Coyne says.

With a desire to see more women in ministry, Cia Cloud welcomes 45 teenage girls to a weekly Bible study she leads in her home state of Ohio, where she takes both high school and college classes.

Though her ministry began with five girls, Cloud's video posts on social media sites reach males, too.

"So, I would have to say that today was actually one of the coolest testimonies. I got a text from a friend who tells me he was struggling with a bunch of things, and he was touched by a video," says Cloud.

"It's insane to me that, because we live in a generation that's put down, Gen Z is so absolutely crazy for the gospel," she adds.

In one of the places in which she was preparing to speak, Cloud heard the Holy Spirit tell her to go sit with a girl who was alone on the floor. "I'm like, 'God, I have 45 minutes to prepare a message about healing from John 5.'"

The girl, it turns out, had questions about healing, and the Holy Spirit inspired Cloud's message as she ministered to her.

Blocked content on social media is common — it's occurred four times — for David Latting, who was once banned for stating, "Jesus is the only way to heaven."

But God used Latting's video, despite the angry comments his remarks generated, to reach a female Muslim. "I can't say her name in public because she's hiding her faith right now," Latting says.

"It led to a two-hour conversation about Jesus, and an eight-month relationship with this girl. She gave me a Koran and I gave her a Bible. Despite getting canceled and all that, after eight months, she gave her life to Christ and was baptized, plugged into a community, and is now on fire for Jesus," Latting says.

Acknowledging a Barna Group study that concludes that Gen Z is "biblically illiterate," Elijah Lamb continues to post Christian content because he wants to point his generation to Jesus.

"You have this mass of people that's looking to their peers for guidance. And we're all just agreeing to lock arms and to run aimlessly into the abyss.

"I think most of Gen Z is desperately looking for leadership, a form of shepherding. That is why I started posting, wanting to provide answers to the questions, 'Where are we going? Where are we headed?,'" Lamb says.

A Barna study that concludes only 4% percent of Gen Z has a biblical worldview — rendering it the least Christian generation ever — is heartbreaking but not discouraging.

"I think that God is bringing things full circle," Lamb says. "I look at that and say, 'Gen Z is going to become the most biblical generation of all time.'

"Past generations had some sort of cultural foundation upon which they put their ideas about the Bible. Now, people have no ideas about the Bible. We kind of have a clean slate to really fill Gen Z with the truth," Lamb says.

"That's why I think Gen Z is the most passionate," he says. "Because Gen Z is so in the dark, when it bumps into Jesus, it will go all in unlike any other generation. Every one of them has a crazy past and story. I'm really passionate about seeing Gen Z get their head on straight," Lamb says.

Like the four Gen Z believe, The Send Mobilization Director Jeff Mattheis says statistics about suicide and biblical illiteracy are "a landing strip for God," pointing to a greater Jesus Movement than what occurred in the 1970s.

"I once talked with my mentor, who was with Lonnie Frisbee and Chuck Smith in the Jesus Movement," says Mattheis, also a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) leader.

"I asked him, 'What set the Jesus Movement apart?' He said it was expected that every person who got saved would share the gospel.

"We're believing for the next (generation) of Billy Grahams to find themselves on that field of 60,000 people crying out to God. Could there be one, two or three who would just get gripped for their high school and university campuses, for foster care and adoption, for boldly declaring Gen Z will be suicide-free?" Mattheis asks.

Prayer and fasting leader Lou Engle, who formerly led The Call, is a key collaborator for The Send along with many others, including Andy Byrd, Michael Koulianos, Daniel Kolenda, Todd White, Mike Bickle and The International House of Prayer (IHOPKC).

For five days preceding The Send, 24/7 worship and prayer will blanket Kansas City with Awaken the Dawn and other ministry tents on the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex, which includes Arrowhead Stadium and GEHA Field.

Evangelism training and outreach will occur daily May 9-13, and nightly worship and powerful messages will fill the evenings.

Steve Rees is a former general assignment reporter who, with one other journalist, first wrote about the national men's movement Promise Keepers from his home in Colorado. Rees and Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney attended the Boulder Vineyard. Today Rees writes in his free time.

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