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Crosswalk Headlinesposted a blog, Sat, 11 May, 2024

34,000 Accepted Christ During Winter Jam 2024: ‘Gen Z Is Hungry’ for Truth, Tour Pastor Says

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More than 34,000 young people made professions of faith during this year’s Winter Jam Christian concert tour, underscoring what the tour’s pastor says is Generation Z’s deep hunger for authenticity and truth. Launched in 1995, Winter Jam is an annual multi-city tour that is known for its expansive lineup -- this year featured 10 artists, including Crowder and Lecrae -- and its affordable admission ($15). It’s also known for its unapologetic gospel focus, with tour pastor Zane Black delivering a brief gospel presentation at the midway point each night.    

This year, Winter Tour recorded some 34,500 first-time professions of faith from individuals who typed their information into an online form and then were paired up with a local church. (That is, if they did not come with a church group in the first place.) The digital platform is run by Gloo.  

Many nights were sold out.  

Generation Z, Black said, is “hungry for what's real.”  

“They are inundated with the counterfeit -- whatever is edited, cropped, filtered,” Black told Crosswalk Headlines. “The digital age has pushed them so far into the world of AI that they long for something real. And so I think we have an opportunity within the church to present authentic, real truth in an age of [the] artificial and skeptic. There is a real God. There's a Book that is true. And there's a love that is life-changing, that's tangible.”  

The darker the culture grows, Black said, the more thirsty people are for truth.  

Christians of Generation Z, he added, are “on fire.”  

“There's so many who are excited about sharing the life of Christ with their friends.”  

Winter Jam has two purposes, Black said: 1) share the gospel and 2) encourage the faithful. Young believers who attend the concert can look around and tell themself, “I’m not alone,” he said.  

Meanwhile, Black said he believes there is “more pressure on this [current] generation than ever before.” Much of it is driven by social media.  

“They're comparing themselves with all these false images,” he said. “... To me it comes down to really identity. Students are longing to know: ‘Who am I?’”  

The church has an opportunity, he said.  

“We have the hope of Jesus and the Word of God to say, ‘Here's who God says you are -- you are loved, you are chosen, you have purpose, no matter your past, no matter your future.  

“Gen Z is hungry for that.”



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