If you’re a youth leader, there’s a good chance you’re in your 20's or early 30's. Maybe you’re a college student starting a summer ministry job for a small church. Maybe you’re fresh out of seminary and ready to tackle the “real world.” Maybe you’ve been at this for many years and feel like you’ve seen it all.
In the '60s and '70s as the church was following the cultural move to industrialization and corporate structure, evangelism became a major focus of the evangelical church. Programs infiltrated the church that trained believers in mass evangelism. The stadium revivals were at their peak. People were challenged to go out and share the Gospel, win people to Christ. Door to door witnessing was a common activity for many churches. The awesome thing about this movement was the spread of the Gospel. The downside was a lot of people prayed the prayer, but were never discipled. We wonder why 83 percent of Americans will say they are Christians today? This movement is a major reason for that.
As with all cultural cycles, things change. In a few years, the church moved toward a paradigm shift that brought a new emphasis on discipleship. Again, programs saturated the church that focused on commitment to Scripture, study, prayer, and discipling others. That wave lasted for many years too.
About a decade or so ago, the “emerging church” and the worship movement started sweeping the nation and the world.
So, where are we now? Focused on evangelism? Discipleship? Worship? An ever- changing church culture?
Regardless of where your specific church is or what your answer would be, here’s the one goal we know you have, as do we—balanced, growing, healthy, mature students who are following Jesus with a passion to reach others in His name. Wouldn’t it be great if this generation of students wasn’t known for one dimension of the faith, but for balancing it all—developing into strong, faith-filled believers that are empowered to reach their world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When was the last time you taught your students how to share their faith in an articulate manner with a peer? When was the last time you taught them a strategy to begin spiritual conversations that end in an offer to receive Christ?
One thing we know, there won’t be another generation of believers if we don’t train the current one to share Jesus. Pray for your students, pray for the wisdom to know what they need, and then be faithful to give them quality resources to build the Kingdom—the one they are inheriting right now.