Generation Z, Servanthood, and the Dayton Christian Mission
Generation Z, also known as the iGeneration or Linksters, are defined as being born after 1996. These students in our schools today do not know a time without the internet or social media. Seventy-seven percent of them have their own smartphone and, on average, they will spend three hours a day on a computer for purposes other than homework.
These students are growing up in the public eye, posting daily on social media platforms about the minutia of their lives. They are, in short, the generation of the selfie.
So how do you take the selfie generation and get them to look outward instead of inward (or screenward, if that’s even a word)? At Dayton Christian, the goal is to give our students many opportunities to serve and turn the focus to helping others.
You see our students serving others on a daily basis nearly everywhere you look. In fact, the topics of the last three news stories I have written for this website include the fourth grade packing lunches for the homeless instead of spending that time on a Thanksgiving party for themselves, our elementary students contributing hundreds of shoe boxes to Operation Christmas Child, and the First Baptist Church of Naples thanking DC for the contribution we made to their school following Hurricane Irma.
But that’s just what’s been happening in the past few weeks. If you spend enough time to get to know DC, you will find that giving and serving is in our DNA.
- Gary Recker’s woodworking classes make giving back a part of the curriculum. Already this year they have used their skills to give back to DC by building a Gaga court for the playground and constructing new stairs for the auditorium. Currently, they are working on a roof for the salt bin.
- Thirty-one high school students will be taking part in J-term and summer mission projects to Kenya, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Twenty-nine will serve here at home with the Urban Missions class. An eighth grade mission trip to Chicago is in the planning stages.
- Our high school students complete, on average, ten thousand hours of community service hours per year. That’s 110 hours per student in their high school career.
- Throughout the year, our students give of their time and treasure to support causes such as Shoes 4 the Shoeless, the Miami Valley Women’s Center, Target Dayton, World Mission, and Matthew 25 Ministries.
And really, that’s just scratching the surface. At Dayton Christian, we teach our students to be servants. It is, after all, a part of our mission.
At Dayton Christian School, when we are thinking about the end product of twelve years of education – a DC graduate – our mission is:
To INSTILL in them… a love for others.
To INSPIRE them to approach… service as an act of worship
To EQUIP them to… live out their faith with grace, wisdom, courage
Any Christian school can teach students to recite scripture and hold weekly chapel services. It is the duty of a Christ-centered school to teach them to walk the talk. At Dayton Christian School, it is our desire to do just that – to not just to give our students a head full of Biblical knowledge, but also a heart full of compassion to serve.