As we continue our look at the youth of today, let’s take a brief look at what the younger generations are looking for today. Not what they are looking for in life specifically, but what they are looking for in the Church. They have very specific expectations regarding any local church that they would be willing to join and be seriously committed to. They are not looking for a feel good social club or a place to learn more information about God. They are wanting to experience God and encounter the supernatural. In light of this broad picture they are looking to the Church and to leaders of the Church for:
1> Challenge – Young people today are not looking for comfort, safety, or security. They are looking for a challenge. This means a cause worthy of them investing their time, effort, and their money. They want to be involved in and give their life for something significant. They want their life to count for something and for the world to be different because they were on the planet.
2> Change – Young people are very open to change, even constant change. Not change for the sake of change. However, if the change being considered benefits those involved and moves the project or church forward they will invest in the change and willingly go with it even when there is no guarantee that the change will bring increased success. They are not looking for guarantees. They see much that needs to change in the church today to allow it to be more relevant and have greater impact. And, they are willing to initiate change and work to see new things established and new ways of accomplishing things embedded in the DNA of the organization.
3> Relevance – Young people question everything that goes on in a local church to see if it is relevant. Yes, the Word of God is always relevant. But, the way it is presented, taught, and studied often is outdated and antiquated thus rendering the Word irrelevant. Methods of teaching; ways of presenting the Gospel of the Kingdom; formats for the service and worship; and the way that believers interact with the Word (discussion verses lecture) … must change so that the total experience is relevant to the youth of today. They are looking for relevance.
4> Reality – Does what we are doing in church and through the church have a sense of reality about it? Or are we simply going through some age-old motion without feeling and with no connection to the daily reality being faced in the world of the youth today? Church must bring about life transformation for the youth of today or else they will look elsewhere for their understanding and perception of the world and their worldview.
5> Experience – Young people want to experience God not just hear about Him or receive an education regarding Him. They are not interested in more information. They want to experience God and then take that experience into their world so that others will also encounter the love that God has for each and every individual.
more next time…