The Beginning of The After Hours Conversations
By Joanna la Fleur
I was sitting in a talk at the Global Leadership Network in Chicago just before the Covid lockdowns listening to an expert on “generations” and I was feeling… OLD!
As a Millennial, I had grown accustomed to being the topic and focus of conversations about “kids these days” and what the concerns were about the next generation of youth growing up around the rise of the Digital Age. But as I sat learning there, I was struck by just how much we have aged up and out of some of those stereotypes. Millennials are now nearing 40 years old, and many have partners, kids, mortgages, and the trappings of middle management in their jobs.
Enter, Gen Z.
The generation born in the late 1990s and up to about 2015 is coming of age, with the oldest having now graduated university and entering the job market and adult world. With their “Okay Boomers” and their TikTok dances- they are the first generation who do not remember a time before you could see the person you were speaking to on the phone.
They are Digital Natives, immersed in their screens, with best friends around the world they have never met in real life, a passion for justice and environmental issues, skeptical about religion as a good force in the world, and looking for identity and purpose as all young people in a fragmented and individualized society are wanting to do.
This is why we needed to take See Hear Love “After Hours,” to the conversation happening after the conversation; to the heart of issues and perspectives of young people who want to be heard, not just talked down to by older generations.
Through a series of 5 episodes where we take over the See Hear Love show for the day, we interview wise and intelligent young people on what matters most to them: relationships, technology, family, faith, money, and purpose.
To quote my friend Dan Blythe who leads Alpha Youth Global, “The best part of talking to Gen Z, is listening to Gen Z”. In this series of 5 conversations, we get a window into the perspectives, longings, strengths, and needs of a generation who has grown up with the faith of their parents or grandparents, and is grappling with what it means for their own lives as they take steps in independence and adulthood for the first time.
I hope you will join us as we listen and lean into what they are saying. Where we have got it wrong. Where we have helped point them to Jesus, and where we have not discipled them well. May you come with an open heart, curiosity, and a desire not just to advise young people, but to learn from them and alongside them.
As a generation who has had the world at their fingertips their whole life, they are wise beyond their years. Come hang out with us, After Hours.