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Building Trust (Part 1)

Building Trust (Part 1)


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Episode Overview

Trust is at an all-time low in our world, and this is impacting Generation Z. Having never known a world before 9/11 or a country not in a war, the emerging generation needs adults and mentors who will walk with them during the ups and downs of life so that trust in God can be built. Laura Needer will join us to pray that trust can be built through these relationships. 


Laura Needler serves as the Director of Communications at WGM. She has a heart for the world and different cultures which has been cultivated over the last ten years through her experience in higher ed developing short-term service and academic experiences, as well as living in Detroit. As a new mom, she has a new perspective to pray for the next generation in their relationship with God, and she desires to walk intentionally with them. 

Show Notes
Read the Script

Connor: Welcome to The Approach, where we help you walk with the next generation as they seek to use their gifts and talents and experiences to journey with Jesus and participate in the Great Commission. On this microcast, we want to give you a snapshot of the next generation, and we want to provide you with some tools to disciple, empower, and pray for the next generation, whether you're a parent, teacher, coach, a mentor, or a friend.

My name is Connor Owen, and I'm joined by John Rinehimer, and we both serve on staff at WGM. John's also working on his PhD, and he's going to provide us with some insights and some observations about Gen Z that are going to help us as we walk with the next generation. Well, John, today we want to talk about trust, specifically within Gen Z. Why don't you give us some of your thoughts, as you've done some research around this topic?

John: Yeah, as I was thinking about this, I was remembering a time I was growing up and my parents—it was summertime—and I remember clearly that they were trying to teach me to jump into the pool, and I was really afraid. And my dad specifically kept saying, "Trust me, John, I'll catch you. Trust me, John, I'll catch you." And, well, I did, and he did catch me, spoiler alert. I'm here. Right? And you know, in today's world, trust is at such a premium, and at the same time, it's very lacking, oftentimes. And this is especially true, I think, when it comes to Gen Z and relationships. You know, one study found that over the last several decades, Americans had just, in general, become significantly less trusting of each other and of just large institutions. You know, it's interesting. This lack of trust has impacted for sure how Gen Z sees the world.

Barna's research, they've reported this: they said that most of Gen Zers, they don't remember the years before 9/11 or the event. They don't even recall living in a world or a country at peace. And so, building trust takes time, and Gen Z, they're looking for adults who will walk with them through the ups and downs of this tumultuous life. And they want people who will model what trusting Jesus really looks like in the real world, in the world that is full of these ups and downs.

Connor: It's really helpful to think of the fact that they truly don't remember 9/11. That's context for us to all keep in mind. You know, recently I was just reading some research in Barna that said 65% of resilient disciples, they value mentoring from older adults.

So what that means is the Gen Zers in your life, they're actually looking for and they value that mentoring, but the problem is some of them really don't have it.

John: Yeah, I think that's very true. There's just, in general, a lot less adults, it seems like, in most Gen Zers’ lives. And I don't know about you, Connor, but when I think about the formative moments of my life, I mean, who were the people who walked with you to help you grow in your walk with Jesus and just mature in general? I mean for me, I could list off, I mean, my dad, my mom, Mr. Richards at church, when I was a little kid, Mr. Nelson, my basketball coach (he deserves a medal of honor), JD, my pastor or Roy Lauder, Ron Smith, Dennis Kinlaw. These professors and mentors and actually a lot more people, I'm a little bit embarrassed, but it literally took almost a whole village, Connor, to raise me.

It helped me build trust in Jesus and just grow mature. And you know, I think the Gen Zers out there in our audience's life, they're looking for the same thing.

Connor: This is really great stuff, John, and yeah, for most of us, we can think of those people who poured into us for so many years and got us to where we are. Well, we want to change gears here a little bit, and we want to invite you to pray with us for the next generation. As we seek to build that trust we've been talking about with them and in them as they seek to journey with Jesus. And joining us today to do that is another WGM staff member, Laura Needler. And she's going to read a passage of scripture and pray this scripture over Gen Z.

Laura: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5–6

Father, I want to lift up Gen Z. The opportunity for them to come to know you is so great. We know the culture and the times they are being raised in has been full of uncertainty. And this impacts the ability to trust. Oh God, will you break down the walls of the enemy that separate this amazing generation? Jesus, we believe in this generation and desire to see them grow and into disciple-makers who help fulfill the Great Commission wherever they are. Please give them unwavering trust in you, even when they can't fully understand or recognize what you are up to.

Please give them an incredible hunger for you, Jesus, and for your Word. Will you open opportunities for those who know you to build relationships with this generation? Father God, I want to also lift up the parents, youth leaders, college students, and those who are working with Gen Z. Today, we've heard the value of investment and mentoring. Father, while you use these leaders to seek you with their whole heart and listen to your spirit, will you give them the courage to find ways to spend intentional time, to build the relationship of trust with this younger generation? Will you help these leaders through their trust and relationship in you to open up conversation and moments for the Gen Zers in their life to know you better? Will you give them eyes to see how they can be vulnerable with the Gen Zer in their life and how they are trusting you? We believe you are on the move in Gen Z and in the whole body of Christ. Father, help all of us to trust you in deeper ways. Amen.

Connor: Thanks so much for leading us in that prayer, Laura. Well, we want to invite you the listeners to pray over and for the Gen Zer in your life that God has placed on your heart and pray that He will deepen their trust in Him and even find a way to spend time with that Gen Zer in your life so that you can continue this conversation with them.

Well, thanks for joining us on The Approach, where we help you walk with the next generation as they seek to use their gifts and their talents and their experiences to journey with Jesus and participate in the Great Commission. Next time, we're going to be joined by Justin Williams as he prays for Gen Z and their desire for a guide in their lives. Be sure to give us a rating and leave a comment if you enjoyed today's episode, as this will help others find the podcast so they can join us on this journey as well. And if you have any questions, please email us at

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