Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Stewarding Online Space in Making Disciples of Gen-Z

VJTM Cover image. An orange and grey background with the VJTM logo, the text "Vanguard Journal of Theology & Ministry", and the Issue information (Volume 1:1, spring 2022) overlaid.


The western church is experiencing a steady decline in membership with each passing generation. If Jesus is the only way, truth, and life available, then seeing fewer people come into life with Him should be very alarming for the Church today, and a major concern to address. How can the Church re-engage youth in today’s post-Christian culture? As Gen-Zs are digital natives with much of their experiences being lived out online, what role should the online environment play in the Church in reengaging today's generation of young people? How can churches effectively disciple young people they may never meet in person? What answers might the field of education have to offer practical ministry in these questions? The purpose of this literature review is to examine the available scholarship related to online discipleship and the Gen-Z generation, including how faith nurture, church, community development, learning, and online collaborative learning theory can be understood within the online context. It will also look at the model of traditional discipleship and examine whether the online world is an appropriate place for such discipleship practices. Finally, this paper will offer suggestions based on the literature as to how one may leverage online collaborative learning practices to engage effectively in online discipleship with Gen-Z individuals in a small group setting.


Online Discipleship, Online Church, Online Learning, Gen-Z, Generation-Z, Digital Disciplship, Discipleship, Small Group Ministry, Online Small Group, Youth Ministry