Generation Alpha, Generation Hope
By Patricia Peña
Wait, we are just getting to know Gen Z, and now we must learn about Gen Alpha? What is Gen Alpha anyway? Generation Alpha is a term that has been emerging in educational circles. Gen Alpha are the kids born from 2010 on. They are known as Generation Alpha because they are the beginning of many new social dynamics. This generation is the first to be fully immersed online, the most diverse, the first to live in the most "unconventional" homes, the most globally accessible group, and the first of many more. Born out of the fall and partial recovery of our economy, a pandemic, and the children of idealist millennials and realistic Gen Z, Generation Alpha is also considered to be Generation Hope – hope of a more adaptable, connected, diverse, and empowered generation to lead the world's future. This hope of a future in Alpha's hands must be nurtured now.
This generation will need tools to bring forth equity, cultural humility, acceptance, creativeness, and a bridge between the online and personal worlds. The work with this generation needed to start yesterday. The future is here. Gen Alpha is still developing and may evolve in a new direction. Below are observations and characteristics necessary for developing ministries for this population group:
1. The work with Gen Alpha is now!
Unfortunately, between a global pandemic and other significant sociological and economic changes, Gen Alpha has been at the end of the never-ending list of keeping ministry alive. We saw that the first ministries to go during the pandemic were ministries to children under age twelve. Some churches have not recovered from this.
In a blink of an eye, Gen Alphas are more than pandemic toddlers. Some are already entering middle school and, in about six years, will decide our nation's future at the polls.
2. Gen Alpha is the most ethnically diverse age group yet in the United States.
Racial and ethnic demographics in the United States are changing rapidly. The children of color—the combined population of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, multiracial individuals, and other races—now make up more than fifty percent of the under-fifteen age group. Hispanic youth make up more than one-fourth of the children of color.  Alongside these changes, there is a strong emerging third culture group – global kids, born of mixed race.
3. Gen Alpha is the first generation born into nonconventional families as a norm.
Generation Alpha will be reared in a nation with no dominant family form. One study states that the diversity of family types is a result of the overall drop in fertility, smaller families, a decline of two-parent households, and the rise of single-parent families, blended families, and multiple-partner families.  As these numbers change, consider how mission and engagement with Alphas need to be presented.
4. Gen Alpha is the streaming generation.
These children have been exposed to innovative technology since birth, and they can navigate streaming, voice assistants, and tablets even before they can read or write. Author Daliah Wachs explains, "There is no doubt that Alphas will be one of the most competitive, expressive, goal-oriented, compassionate, intuitive, responsible, and technically savvy generations we’ve seen yet."  They have global accessibility at the tip of their fingers. One day, they may pick up a British accent from Peppa; another day, they may coin a few Spanish words or even some Japanese or Mandarin from video reviews and streaming games. The world is at their fingertips.
Here are some suggestions to consider when reaching out to Alphas:
We must remember that if we are in ministry with Generation Alpha, we are also in ministry with their caregivers and parental figures. Great ministries can begin with outreach to children and youth. Healthy and dynamic ministries of nurturing Alphas can be a bridge to the heart of their parents. This kind of outreach is not a new concept, but it is a vital one. It is a concept that is widely embraced and understood by marketers worldwide. "If generation Alpha possesses similar behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs to that of their parents, then to win a certain segment of millennial consumers (millennial parents), we must target generation Alpha. 
Alpha children are observing how we open spaces for diversity. They are more aware of hues and nuances. Churches need to ask, “Do the resources used to disciple children reflect a global and diverse identity, and can the children see themselves in the narrative? Do the activities chosen, the space used, and the media reflect an openness to diversity?” Gen Alpha will be more open to restorative justice and equity. Include opportunities for healthy conversations around these topics and provide opportunities for real-life applications to live the gospel in mission and service.
Teach them something Google cannot. Gen Alphas have information at the tips of their fingers. They have a sense of skepticism and continual questioning of facts due to overstimulation and access to factual information. They have learned from a young age to filter news. Facts are essential but not enough for this generation group. There is a move from empty, repetitive knowledge to more transformational knowledge. These children will be unconcerned if it was five loves and two fish or three fish and ten loaves of bread. What will matter to them is that people were fed, and no one was turned away. Imagine how much God can do with ordinary things and people in God's hands. Get it? Think more about how children’s hearts can be moved to passionate and personal encounters with Christ. They can find less head knowledge in Google and more experience and present-day applications.
Move from a place of being the expert who is teaching to a person who is bringing them with you in exploration, empowering them, and equipping them through the arts, music, conversation, and mixed media. Help them grow through personal connections, service in practice, and faith that becomes profound through devotion, comprehensive through compassion, and mighty through witness.
Connections and Community: The members of Gen Alpha have had their lives documented online since before birth. Many have a massive following on social media platforms before even knowing how to read or write. Even though we are exploring and understanding the importance of doing ministry online, experts consider that as Alphas grow, they will seek to experience authentic communities inside and outside the streaming world. They might do everything online: school, gaming, vlogs, entertainment, but also seek meaningful, physical, community connections in person, outside the media streams. We must not neglect the value of play, community, and interactions outside the streaming world. As Alphas continue to grow, they will be a bridge for past and future generations because they know well how to navigate online life and their offline reality.
Hope is at the center of ministry to Alphas. Can you move their hearts to the hope of a future and purpose in God? Don't underestimate Generation Alpha's creativity, intelligence, and capacity to navigate complex ideas. Even more so, use all the tools to empower, equip, and help them embrace a hopeful purpose in God. They have grown amid tragedies and crises and are continuously seeking glimpses of hope and to be hope.
The future is now; our future is Alpha, and the end is hope.
At Path 1, we are looking to partner with congregations interested in investing in Generation Alpha. If you want to be informed, please reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
 William H. Frey, “Less Than Half of US Children Under 15 are White, Census Shows, The Brookings Institution (Jane 24, 2019), www.brookings.edu/research/less-than-half-of-us-children-under-15-are-White-census-shows.
”The American Family Today,” Pew Research Center (December 17, 2015), https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2015/12/17/1-the-american-family-today.
 Daliah Wachs, Generation Alpha: They’re Alpha for a Reason (Independently Published, 2020), 9.
 Christine Michel Carter, “The Complete Guide to Generation Alpha: The Children of Millennials,” Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecarter/2016/12/21/the-complete-guide-to-generation-alpha-the-children-of-millennials/?sh=1ba929f63623.
 Valora Washington, Changing the Game for Generation Alpha (RedLeaf Press, 2021), 33.