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Perryman Post - New Maps for Gen Z

June 18, 2019
By CAK Communications

My wife and I did something last Saturday which we have not done for many months - we made a trip to West Town Mall. It was raining, and such a dreary day, we thought, "Why not?" Needless to say, 75% of Knoxville must have had the same idea. We walked around, got a pretzel, and just had a good time people-watching.

One thing that struck me was the vast amount of people walking through the mall attached to their mobile devices, and it wasn’t only the adults! From little kids in strollers watching videos and playing games on iPhones to teens who looked at their phones as they walked away. One lady we saw had a phone in each hand! A man had an iPad and an iPhone, walking with his wife, who was also on her iPhone, neither talking to one another. We just watched. It was amazing what we saw, just the lack of communication with people walking or sitting right next to one another!

Our staff is reading a book this summer entitled Marching Off the Map written by Tim Elmore. The book suggests that our current generation, Generation Z (born since the year 2001), is a generation of firsts. The first generation that:

  1. Doesn't need adults to get information.
  2. Can broadcast their every thought or emotion in real time.
  3. Has external stimuli at their fingertips 24/7.
  4. Are socially connected at all times, but often they connect in isolation.
  5. Will learn more from a portable device than from a classroom.
  6. Uses a phone instead of a wristwatch, camera, wall calendar, or board game.

It struck me after our visit to the mall that we, as adults, have a huge task ahead of us. We must equip this generation with the tools they need to do life. To make our instruction applicable to today's "screenagers," we must do things differently. The premise of the book is that our pedagogy needs to be evaluated, and "new maps" need to be used to reach Generation Z in a more effective way.

I am encouraging our staff as they read this book to consider making "new maps." We will be working through this book next year and would appreciate your prayers as we develop “new maps” to lead our students into preparing for life. Please continue to enjoy your summer.

Remember the CAK Way:

  • Love God
  • Love People
  • Model Jesus
  • Make decisions that are best for our students.

Meditate on Proverbs 3:5-6:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Because of God’s Grace,

Dan Perryman
Interim Head of School

To find out more about Christian Academy of Knoxville, visit our website,

Posted in Perryman Post