Embracing Jesus’ Call: Why Secular Resources Fall Short in After-Abortion Healing for the Next Generation

Posted on June 21, 2024

Satan never leads a woman to after-abortion healing. Never. The powerful truth is that those drawn to experience after abortion healing are called by Jesus Christ himself (Matt. 11:28-30). Often, there’s a debate about the type of book study that would appeal best to this secular generation. Many believe that a secular resource should be used for younger women with little or no faith to offer a shallow entry point for healing. This leaves me thinking: since Jesus calls people to heal in Him, why would we use a secular resource?

The Rise of the “Nones”
There are plenty of negative stereotypes about today’s young people—particularly when it comes to matters of faith and religion. In a 2021 survey by the Survey Center on American Life, more than one-third of Gen Z identified as religiously unaffiliated[1]. In fact, Some research puts the “Nones,” those without religious affiliation, as high as nearly 50% among Gen Z [2]. Young people today are navigating an ocean of superficiality, inundated by a constant stream of information through their digital devices. In a generation marked by discarded morality in pursuit of freedom, many search for guidance and direction in life.

Increasingly, young people are turning to practices that look suspiciously like traditional religion for comfort and security. GIRLS writer Freya India (2024) comments that several activities that hold Gen Zer’s’ interest appear to be God-free religion: “We don’t pray at night; we repeat positive affirmations. We don’t confess; we trauma dump. We don’t seek salvation; we go on healing journeys.” India notes that without the backbone of faith, these practices are just meant to make the penitent feel better, but declining mental health statistics tell us it isn’t working. Without the parts of religion that exist outside of us—the Church, Scripture, and an omnipotent God—spirituality is an exercise in futility and self-worship [3].

What is a generation burdened by anxiety and loneliness, crippled by digital obsessions, and adrift in the sea of therapy to find themselves calling for? They are calling for Jesus (Psalms 142:1-7).

Interest in Jesus
Amid the surge of the “Nones” and the rapid de-churching phenomenon in the United States, where we see the most significant and fastest religious shift in our history, Generation Z’s indifference toward traditional religion may not surprise us. Frequently Gen Z is often described as “spiritual but not religious.” While some view this trend with concern, it is a promising opportunity. It signifies that Gen Z is spiritually receptive, seeking something more profound than mainstream culture offers.

Ironically, while it seems true that many young men and women are suspicious of traditional religious institutions, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in learning more about Jesus. Data collected by Barna showed that nearly half of Gen Z adults are “extremely curious” about Jesus and have a positive view of who Jesus is [4]. Additionally, despite low Scripture engagement, around half of all Gen Z adults say their lives have been transformed by the Bible’s message [5]. The same dataset found that 31% of young people with no Christian affiliation said they were very motivated to learn more about Him. Even among non-practicing Christian and non-Christian Gen Z adults, a notable openness remains to engage with Scripture-based experiences and conversations. A significant 25% of non-practicing Gen Z Christians indicated they would consider accepting an invitation from a Christian friend to stream a church service online, watch a TV show or movie about Jesus, or attend a Christian concert. Moreover, approximately 18% of non-Christian Gen Z respondents expressed willingness to take part in a meal where biblical topics are discussed in a group setting [6].

Given this good news, Gen Z’s openness and curiosity create a unique opportunity to share the Gospel. In fact, why would we not?

Sharing the Gospel
When discussing resources to help walk the next generation through abortion healing, we can rely on the fact that God himself has called her to healing. When a young woman takes the first step on this journey, she’s already open to finding salvation outside of herself. Attempts at being overly accommodating by stripping the clear message of the Gospel out of the text are damaging (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

How do we share the gospel?

We must communicate the story—the whole story. Gen Zers are curious and thoughtful. They want answers to their questions. It’s tempting to avoid biblical principles, but this is a mistake. Stripping our message of hope and healing in Jesus won’t make Him more palatable; it will make Him seem less relevant to the issues she’s facing. Her openness and curiosity, as God has called her to at this moment in her life, create a unique opportunity to share the Gospel. Jesus’ life, as taught through the scriptures, offers answers to her most significant questions about who she is, where she came from, and where she is going—answers she won’t find anywhere or with anyone else.

Questions to Think About

  1. In a culture increasingly skeptical of traditional religious institutions but open to spiritual exploration, how can helpers effectively bridge the gap between secular approaches and the spiritual healing offered by faith-based resources?
  2. Considering the rise of the “Nones” and Generation Z’s spiritual receptivity, what responsibilities do faith helpers have in adapting their methods to effectively engage a younger generation of men and women who are curious about Jesus but wary of organized religion?
  3. How can the faith helper balance the imperative to share the Gospel in its entirety with the need to meet individuals where they are, particularly in sensitive areas like abortion healing, without diluting the transformative message of faith and redemption in Christ?

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[1] Over half of gen Z teens feel motivated to learn more about jesus. Barna Group. (2023). https://shorturl.at/QbPjV
[2] Carrington, A. (2024b, January 23). Quest for community: The possibility and problem for gen Z religiously and politically – washington examiner. Washington Examiner – Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government. https://shorturl.at/X2Ops
[3] India, F. (2024). Our new religion isn’t enough. Our New Religion Isn’t Enough . https://shorturl.at/PbHVN
[4] Over half of gen Z teens feel motivated to learn more about jesus. Barna Group. (2023). https://shorturl.at/QbPjV
[5] PR Newswire. (2023). A window to reach gen Z: American Bible Society Study finds 45% of young adults intrigued by message of scripture and jesus. PR Newswire: press release distribution, targeting, monitoring and marketing. https://shorturl.at/34cze
[6] PR Newswire. (2023). A window to reach gen Z: American Bible Society Study finds 45% of young adults intrigued by message of scripture and jesus. PR Newswire: press release distribution, targeting, monitoring and marketing. https://shorturl.at/34cze

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About the Author

Tricia Lewis is a national and international grief care educator and co-founder of the Reproductive Loss Network. Tricia had the privilege of spending many years as an executive director for a pregnancy clinic in Northern California. She now provides biblical grief education to individuals and groups, especially in pregnancy help organizations. Tricia holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychology with concentrations in trauma, crisis, and grief. Tricia resides in Nashville but takes great pleasure cultivating enduring relationships with individuals, regardless of location. She finds joy in educating, empowering, and inspiring others to contribute to their communities through practical and compassionate care.

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