Last time we began to look at what the youth today need from us as mature believers and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We saw that the first thing that they need is “wisdom” that comes both from what we have learned of God’s Word and His ways but also simple “Life wisdom” that comes from being older and having lived life and examined life as we lived it. An ancient philosopher once said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” So, the youth today are looking for wisdom that arises out of a life well lived and examined. So, they need others to disciple and mentor them.
Youth also need …
2> To be equipped. The Bible states, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). If we remove all the phrases from these two verses we end up with: “All Scripture is given by God that the person of God would be complete and equipped.”
The word “complete” means to be more and more like Jesus. So, as we read and study the Word of God we become more like the Author. And the word “equipped” means trained to do what Jesus did. And, Jesus Himself said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
The youth of today need to be equipped – taught about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the power of God, the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, and how to be a witness (see: Acts 1:5, 8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
3> The youth also need to learn how to listen, to learn, and to grow. They have a need to recognize that older is often wiser. Thus, they need to be taught to speak less and listen more. In my experience, the youth of today speak too quickly and often in the midst of older people who have much wisdom to share. In one case a young man who just turned 18 consistently said, “In my experience…” while ministering as a member of a team to people who had been Christians for three to four times longer than he had been alive.
Older mentors need to speak to the youth of today and explain the need to listen and learn from those who are older and wiser in the faith. Their enthusiasm often lead them to speak too quickly and in situations where they would benefit greatly by listening.
4> Young believers today also need to be taught to be patient with older Christians who do not see life as they see and experience it. They need to be patient with those who really have not taken the time to understand young people, their values, their beliefs, and they lifestyle. They need to learn not to view older believers who hold to different values and live a different lifestyle as the enemy. They are not! They are simply another generation who see and experience life and even the Christian faith differently than they do.