New Blog Series: “Youth These Days”

-Youth These Days- (1)Ministering to Millennials and Beyond

Nearly every Christian parent asks this question over the course of their children’s lives: How do we help develop an authentic faith life in our kids, so they keep their faith in the future?

It’s a question that is often fueled by fear and anxiety, as parents realize they’re losing influence over their kids. The question also looks into whether the Christian principles established in ones’ home will be strong enough to impact their child’s moral compass.

We need to invest in millennials and younger adolescents so that the Church continues to grow in the hearts of tomorrow’s leaders.

Oftentimes churches don’t know how to engage their youth and teens with the Gospel. It’s an awkward age. Since the beginning of time, parents have scoffed at “youth these days,” lacking an understanding of those a generation or two younger than them. But we at Transform Minnesota are committed to reproducing our faith in the generations that follow us. We need to invest in millennials and younger adolescents so that the Church continues to grow in the hearts of tomorrow’s leaders.

Majority of Tomorrow’s Leaders are Unbelievers

This fall Harvard University asked incoming freshman to answer a survey, including their religious beliefs. Of the nearly 1,200 freshman who replied, here is a break-down of their answers:

21% is agnostic
17% are atheists
17% are Catholics
17% are Protestants
10% are Jewish
3% are Hindu
3% are Muslims
12% chose “other”

Soon these 18-year-olds will graduate from arguably our country’s most prestigious university; they will likely grow into leadership positions across every industry: politics, health care, business, even religion. These freshman, born right before the turn of the century, are our country’s future leaders – and yet already half of them identify as agnostics/atheists or “other.”

Majority of Church Leaders Became Christians as Teens

The National Association of Evangelicals asked its members to identify when they became Christians. Keep in mind, the respondents of this survey chose careers in ministry.

…how the church can most effectively invest their time and resources into middle and high schoolers.

Thirteen years old is the average age that members of the NAE became Christians. The majority of respondents (63 percent) accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior while they were between 4-14 years old, in what is sometimes knowns as the 4/14 Window. According to the NAE, the 4/14 Window describes the opportunity for evangelization within the 4-14 age range, suggesting that most people who become Christians do so during those ages.

We are starting a new blog series called “Youth These Days” – Ministering to Millennials and Beyond. Through this blog series we look into churches best practices to engage today’s youth for Christ. We asked a handful of youth ministers in Minnesota to write about how the church can most effectively invest their time and resources into middle and high schoolers.

In the first part of in our “Youth These Days” blog series, Luke Trouten, Youth Pastor at Northwood Church in Maple Grove, and Transform Minnesota Board Member, shares his thoughts on how to make your church a teen-focused church, and the impact it can have on your youth and even your adults. We are so excited to hear from Luke and we hope his wisdom helps your church better welcome teens to serve, lead and participate fully in the Kingdom of God.

 

 


September 15, 2015

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