A Turning Point
Like a lot of Gen Z (born between 1995 to 2009), Aatiqah did not grow up in the church where her family would visit occasionally during Christmas and Easter. Tragedy struck when Attiquah’s close friend died in a car accident in her senior year of high school. For Aatiqah this became a turning point because her friend was a strong Christian who had served the Lord with a real passion which challenged her nominal Christianity.
“It lit the spark in the flame to follow Jesus.”
As a sophomore in College, Aatiqah joined a group of young Christians where she met people her age serving Jesus wholeheartedly. While she loved College, she felt a stirring to spend more time reaching out to her generation- the first generation of true digital natives.
When TikTok first launched in 2018, Attiquah was one of the first to use the app. At the time there wasn’t much Christian content on TikTok. Over 60% of TikTok users are Generation Z so it is a perfect mission field to reach her generation who are looking for authentic content.
“Anyone can make a difference. No matter what age. God can use you.”
The digital world has opened up new ways to communicate the Gospel. But for young people there are plenty of offline opportunities such as running a student-led youth event or leading a bible study. It’s all about using your gifts for the glory of God. Aatiqah observes:
“So many Christians think you need to go into ministry. Your ministry field is your life, where you go to school, your gym, the grocery store. You can make disciples wherever you go.”
But it wasn’t a straight line journey for Aatikah to get comfortable sharing her faith.
Overcoming Severe Anxiety
Aatiqah used to struggle with severe anxiety- she struggled to sleep and at one stage couldn’t leave the house. One of her greatest fears was the fear of dying, but she could see from Scripture God did not want her to leave in such fear. She quotes 1 Timothy 1:7 (NLT):
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Fear may be a powerful force but God’s love is greater. When Aatiquah was searching the Bible she found great insight into Christ words in the Sermon on the Mount. Could this be the antidote to the fear she was experiencing?
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:9-21 (NIV)
It was time for Aatiqah to turn her eyes on Jesus. Whether it’s money, fame or materialistic things, Aatiqah realised that putting your trust in earthly treasures keeps you in fear, tied to the things of the world. Jesus is telling people to store their treasures in heaven, to live with an eternal perspective.
Storing Up Treasures In Heaven
So how do we live as strangers in this world? Aatiqah says storing up treasures in heaven can be praying for people, giving to the poor and worshipping God in private, all of these keep us from feeling like earth is our home. Our purpose is to live for Jesus and to have our eyes fixed on Him.
“We need our anchor to be in the eternal. If we don’t have that anchor we will be tossed and turned.”
With a heavenly perspective, young people can reconsider their priorities in a hyper-connected world. What is God giving to this generation that will impact lives for the Kingdom? In a digital world, Gen Z believers are perfectly positioned to bring God’s message on the internet to their peers and to their generation around the world.
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About Jordan Whitmer
Jordan is the Founder and C.E.O. of HowToLife Movement, a student-led global movement bringing faith and hope to high school students. Gen Z Today is a weekly podcast that helps young people to grow in their spiritual journey and make a difference with their lives for the Great Commission