Teens are looking for REVIVAL and real faith! Authentic belief requires living in a way that is totally different from the rest of the culture. Blogger Tim Sweetman quotes a Time Magazine report stating that teens are looking for more than “fluffy music.” Time reporter Sonja Steptoe suggested that the youth ministry is leaving it’s “sugarcoated” approach.
“Youth ministers have been on a long and frustrating quest of their own over the past two decades or so. Believing that a message wrapped in pop-culture packaging was the way to attract teens to their flocks, pastors watered down the religious content and boosted the entertainment. But in recent years churches have begun offering their young people a style of religious instruction grounded in Bible study and teachings about the doctrines of their denomination. Their conversion has been sparked by the recognition that sugarcoated Christianity, popular in the 1980s and early ’90s, has caused growing numbers of kids to turn away not just from attending youth-fellowship activities but also from practicing their faith at all.”
Recent religious polls have confirmed this. In England, where Christianity is only going to church once a week, counter-cultural Islam is growing at over 4% a year. Meanwhile, the numbers of those following Christianity is declining, at around 3% every year. Young people are looking for REAL FAITH. We want to DO SOMETHING! Christianity is growing in places where you have to suffer for your beliefs. Chinese, Sudanese, and Ethiopian churches are spreading like wildfire because when you follow Jesus in those countries you have to be willing to die for Him. If that’s not real faith, I don’t know what is!
But how do you live out your faith? To become more like Christ, I spend time with Him to learn His ways. Besides praying and reading the Bible, I pick a verse from Proverbs to meditate on and use all day long. A verse about controlling my words will keep me from hurting those around me with degrading words.
Are you ready for a bombshell? Living out your faith is first learned and best practiced with the people you spend time with every day. Jesus calls us to honor others before ourselves. Unfortunately, this includes our parents, brothers, and sisters! Street evangelism and preaching in the mall is not nearly as effective as living out your beliefs with those around you. I struggle the most with honoring my little sister and obeying my parents. Pray that I will be faithful at home with these challenges.
Use peer pressure to your advantage by joining together with your friends and family to start helping others. Serving is contagious and you will learn together how to be a true Christian. There are a lot of lonely people needing our time. We can visit senior citizens or disabled people, help at the local food bank, or join the Voice of the Martyrs in one of their programs. There are an unlimited number of possibilities so be on the look-out all the time.
Do you take the challenge? Live out your faith this week with friends, and the guy next to you on the bus, but most importantly with your family at home.