Summit Basecamp: Generation Z

Summit has been equipping educators and engaging students for 55+ years. We understand the unique challenges of connecting with this generation. Summit would love to come alongside you to see your students stand strong in their faith. During the Gen Z Basecamp event, we heard from youth leader experts Dr. Jeff Myers, Jason Jimenez, and Mike Sherrard as they led sessions, Q&A, and a panel discussion about relationships, role models, identity, and biblical authority.
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Gen Z Basecamp Videos

Every generation has its ups and downs, but Gen Z is unique—there has never been a generation in America so thoroughly captured by the culture, so thoroughly enmeshed with social media, and so secular in its thinking about the world. How do we minister in a post-Christian culture? How do we develop relationships of grace that do not ignore the truth? How can we help Gen Z develop a worldview that can answer the big questions in life and prepare young adults to stand for truth?


In the past when culture shifted, wise Christians learned to adjust not to survive, but to significantly increase their reach. Today we have come to positions of influence for such a time as this. Let’s gather together and see how we can support one another in stepping forward, not backward. In engaging, not escaping.

Welcome — Pastor Brandon Cormier

As the event MC Pastor Brandon guided us through the afternoon sessions and Q&A. Pastor Brandon has spent the last twelve years serving in full-time youth ministry, equipping him to understand the heartbeat of today’s youth.

Role Models: Relationships and Modeling Christianity for Gen Z — Dr. Jeff Myers

Up to 70% of young adults raised in church drift away from their faith after graduation. What can we learn from the 30% who stay? Dr. Myers shares observations to show how churches—and families—can create an atmosphere, in which, the faith of Gen Z can remain vibrant and strong. The Bible often presents core doctrines in the context of tension between truth/grace, sovereignty/free-will, etc. Teaching truth to hearts and minds involves engaging—not escaping—the tension between relating to students and teaching the truth. As leaders how do we navigate the “boss” vs. “buddy” tension in a way that helps our students grow?

Click here to download Dr. Jeff’s session notes.

Identity: Helping Gen Z Understand Who They Are & What Makes Them Valuable  Michael Sherrard

Today it seems the only person we truly know is the person we are supposed to be. Thanks, social media. This cultural paradigm shift has affected Gen Z student’s sense of identity and purpose, and the church must be equipped to respond. Effective youth ministry today, requires youth leaders to possess and pass on a biblical understanding of identity and value. This lecture will help by showing how the Christian understanding of human value sustains equality, anchors identity, instills hope, and how this message empowers the younger generations to change the world.

The Bible: How Gen Z Doesn’t Know What’s In It or Why It Should Be Trusted — Jason Jimenez

One of the biggest reasons young people leave Christianity is because they stopped believing in the Bible and fail to see the connection it has on the culture. But how did we get here? And what can be done to reverse this trend? In session three, Jason uncovers this “out of touch” reality plaguing Gen Z students. He will offer proven tips that are sure to be effective in your ministry to young adults.

Click here to download Jason Jimenez’s session notes.

Panel Discussion

During the panel discussion Pastor Brandon led a discussion between the event speakers on the following topics:
• How to can we communicate using digital natives?
• Where does Gen Z stand on Equality, Morality, and Sexuality?
• What the Church Must Do to Reach Gen Z Before It’s Too Late

How You Personally Can Equip the Next Generation of Culture-Shaping Leaders — Dr. Jeff Myers

Will the next generation of Christians engage the culture, stand for truth, and fight against evil and injustice? In this session, we talked about why now is one of the most critical times in history. God has provided astounding opportunities for us to be a blessing to all nations of the earth.

Interviews about Gen Z — J. Warner Wallace, Michael Sherrard, Megan Almon, and Summit students

During each break, we shared interviews with Summit faculty and students about what it is like for Gen Z to build meaningful relationships, their interaction with social media, and finding truth in a loud world.

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Gen Z Speakers

During the Gen Z Summit Basecamp, we heard from the following youth experts as they equipped us in a practical and refreshing manner.

Pastor Brandon Cormier

Brandon Cormier was born in the Cajun lands of Louisiana and raised by parents who were committed to serving God and the local church. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Brandon joined Youth With A Mission for 5 months of discipleship, training in hearing God’s voice, and serving on the mission fields of Calcutta, India, and Capetown, South Africa. This was a significant time that marked Brandon’s heart with a burning passion for intercession and leading environments of encounter. Brandon also earned his Master of Divinity from Oral Roberts University. During that season, Brandon married his best friend, Octavia, and the two have consistently labored side by side in discipling and mentoring young people both at church and in their home. Brandon has spent the last 12 years serving in full time ministry at 3 churches in a combination of roles as youth pastor (impacting hundreds of students on a weekly basis), intern director (influencing over 300 interns from across the country over six years), student conference director of a movement that gathered 5,000 young people to grow in passionate prayer, and leader of an annual prayer gathering inspiring & equipping hundreds of youth pastors to grow and lead from the place of prayer. Employing his musical, public speaking, and theatrical gifts to zealously articulate God’s Word in a transformational way to youth and adults of this generation. In addition to preaching, Brandon has also served as an adjunct professor on the faculty of The King’s University and Youth Min Academy. He also travels nationally and internationally leading mission trips and speaking at conferences/retreats and coaching young leaders and youth pastors. Brandon & Octavia’s highest priority is parenting their beautiful daughters Riyan Nicole (5 yrs. old) & Norah Grace (3 yrs old). Riyan is an aspiring gymnast and mom while Norah, well, she’s still figuring out her life!
Jason Jimenez Stand Strong Ministries

Jason Jimenez

Jason Jimenez is the founder of STAND STRONG Ministries. He is a worldview expert that specializes in cultural, philosophical, theological, and religious issues. Jason is also a best-selling author of several books: The Raging War of Ideas: How to Take Back Our Faith, Family, and Country, co-authored The Official Study Guide to I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an AtheistThe Bible’s Answers to 100 of Life’s Biggest Questions with Dr. Norman Geisler, and co-authored Stand Strong America: Courage, Freedom & Hope for Tomorrow, Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home, and Stand Strong in Your Faith. Jason conducts numerous interviews in the media, and has appeared on CBS Radio, the Christian Post, World Net Daily (WND), Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson, TBN’s Praise the Lord, Sky News, and Focus on the Family. He and his wife, Celia, live in Charlotte, NC with their four beautiful children.
Dr. Jeff Myers

Dr. Jeff Myers

Dr. Jeff Myers is president of Summit Ministries. As an educator and entrepreneur, Dr. Myers has become one of America’s most respected authorities on youth leadership development. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson referred to him as “a very gifted and inspirational leader.” Evangelist Josh McDowell called him “a man who is 100% sold out to preparing the next generation to reflect the character of Christ in the culture.” Through his speaking engagements and media appearances Dr. Myers has become a fresh voice offering humor and insight from a Christian worldview. He is the author of 14 books, including Understanding the Faith, Understanding the Times, and Understanding the Culture textbooks which are studied by tens of thousands of students.  Dr. Myers holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Denver. He continues to engage college students and adult learners by serving as a trustee of Colorado Christian University and through a Signature Leadership Course offered by the Lumerit Corporation, which serves the training needs of many Fortune 100 companies. Jeff and his wife Stephanie and their family live in Colorado.
Michael Sherrard

Michael Sherrard

Michael C. Sherrard is a gifted teacher with a passion for equipping the church, especially the coming generations, to make the case for Christianity. He is lead pastor at Crosspoint Community Church, the co-creator and director of Ratio Christi College Prep, speaker for the Life Training Institute, founder of the Pro-Life Pastor’s Initiative, and faculty member at Summit Ministries. Michael travels throughout the United States and Europe training groups to contend for Christianity and the Pro-life position. He speaks at churches, camps, and conferences including the National Conference for Christian Apologetics, Summit Ministries, and the Clarkson Academy in Great Britain. Michael has also appeared on numerous television and radio programs such as FOX and Friends and Moody Radio. Michael is the author of Relational Apologetics: Defending the Christian Faith with Holiness, Respect, and Truth released in 2015 by Kregel Publishing. He is a contributing author to the Revised Student’s Apologetics Study Bible. Michael also writes regularly on cultural, theological, and worldview issues. His articles have appeared in publications such as the Christian Research Journal, the Poached Egg and The Stream. Michael has a B.A. in Religion and a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Apologetics from Luther Rice College and Seminary, and has done considerable post-graduate work in the area of New Testament Ethics. In 2004, he lucked out and married Terri Anna. Living in Peachtree City, Georgia, with their five crazy kids, they attempt to make it through each day as they overcome severe sleep deprivation.