As older generations, it is easy to see our youth as less than what we were. Focussing on the negative comes almost natural. But, it is these students who are entering the workforce, impacting the economy, the future pastors our churches, and charting the course for Christianity’s future—taking what we hand off to them and moving it forward. It is our job to be sure we are handing off a faith that reflects Christ, a mission that is focused on the gospel, and wisdom that can only come from God.
The western world is officially post-Christian—actively rejecting Jesus and the gospel. This is forcing churches to face some new challenges. Nowhere is this challenge more important in Christendom than in our youth groups and families.
I think it is safe to say that every student has deeply important questions that stem from seasons of doubt. But sadly, many who have questions within the church are all too often glazed over with superficial answers and judgmental eyes. Consequently, students are left with one of two thoughts. Either something is wrong with them, or something is wrong with Christianity.
If we claim to be a passionate follower of Christ and we claim that our identity is found in none other than Christ, that we have a new heart and a new nature animated by the Holy Spirit, do people know that about you within the first thirty seconds of meeting you?
We, as youth leaders, need to live missional and invite students into that space. Invite them into the challenges, the successes, and the failures. Invite them to follow your example as you seek to follow Christ. And then provide them opportunities to lead others. Show them what it means to see the world as Jesus does so they don’t merely strive to just successfully survive the world, but transform it and redeem it for the kingdom of God.