Pastor’s Perspective 03-12-19
The title of the article caught my attention: “Millennials Say Evangelism is Wrong.” Dr. Alex McFarland speaks to thousands of young people each year through his national and regional apologetics conferences entitled, “Truth for a New Generation.” The conferences are designed to help students, parents, youth pastors and community members lift up the millennial generation, pray for them and empower them to stand strong in their faith. His article pointed to two recent surveys that provide some insight into their faith views.
A new Barna report called “Reviving Evangelism” looks at the faith-sharing experiences and expectations of both Christians and non-Christians. One alarming discovery is that almost half of millennials consider sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ as “wrong.” According to Barna, almost all practicing Christians (97%) believe the best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to know Jesus. 73% of millennials say they know how to respond when someone raises questions about faith, but 47% say that it is “wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes they will one day share the same faith.”
A separate LifeWay Research study of adults between the ages of 23 and 30 who attended a Protestant church at least twice a month for at least a year as a teenager confirmed what we have been seeing in recent years – a significant drop-out rate after high school. Only 39% of those surveyed describe themselves as “devout” Christians with a strong faith today. Despite the concerning statistics, McFarland made one point that stood out to me: “From speaking with hundreds of thousands of young people over the years, I have learned that if they have just a few adults who come alongside them and encourage them to grow in their faith, there’s a much better chance they will remain in the church and rooted in Jesus long into adulthood… one or two positive influences can make a world of difference.”
Today’s young people are growing up in a culture increasingly hostile to Christianity. They need to be challenged with the truth of God’s Word to make a real commitment to Christ. And they need older Christians to pull up alongside them, pray for and encourage them, and set a clear and consistent example for them to follow. We can make a world of difference.
See you Sunday! ~ John