Youth today are fleeing the church in large numbers in many of the nations of the world. They are looking for a quality of spiritual life, a sense of community, and leadership that has a vision and is willing to include the them in the journey to fulfilling that vision.
In general, the youth of today are looking for …
These were covered in some detail in previous blogs in this series. Let’s look at the last two today and then move on to what the youth today need.
11> Life – This is the “it” factor. People, believers and non-believers, know when “it” is there and they are also deeply aware of when “it” is not there. “It” is the Holy Spirit and the very life and nature of God – His presence, His peace, His power. Young people today are looking for this life and will become committed to any group where this is found on a regular basis.
John 1:4 states, “In Jesus was life, and the life was the light of men.” Jesus is not the “light.” It is the very ‘life’ of God in Jesus that was the light. And this ‘life’ draws people to Him and to His Bridge, the Church. And, then, as the youth receive this ‘life’ they too become the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
Young people will not make a committed to a church where life is not available. They will make a deep and permanent commitment to an assembly where ‘life’ is active and can be experienced weekly.
12> Leaders who will not judge or condemn their beliefs or lifestyle. But leaders who will seek to understand them, accept them, and invest in them. Young people are looking for believers who will love, accept, and forgive them. After all, this is what Jesus did to all those who responded to His message … He loved them unconditionally; accepted them just as they were; and forgave them when they hurt Him. Young people today are looking for nothing less than this complete package. And, they can tell when these ‘life’ factors are not present.
What is it that the youth need today – even when they are often personally not aware of the need? Let’s start our look at this area…
1> Wisdom. The young people today are missing the wisdom that can come with age and experience. So, they are in need of wiser, more experienced, older believers to disciple and mentor them as they grow into strong, mature, and reproducing believers.
Although “discipleship” is a hot topic in the Church today there are still few mature believers who are taking the time and making the effort to find and disciple younger believers. And, true, committed mentors for the youth of today are almost non-existent. So, there is a need for older and wiser believers to rise up and begin to share both their learned knowledge and the wisdom that comes with having lived life. Young people will respond if you reach out to them.
More on this tomorrow…