Young People And Faith

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How young people understand and express their Christian faith in the majority world is changing. It is different than previous generations. This presentation helps to understand the issues

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Young People And Faith

  1. 1. Youth in the majority world a nd Faith
  2. 3. <ul><li>Young People and Faith </li></ul><ul><li>Young people are struggling with the way the Christian faith of their parents is being expressed and outworked </li></ul><ul><li>They are not so wanting to evaluate the truths of the Christian faith, rather it is the outworking of that faith </li></ul><ul><li>They see the way that church leadership and their parents express their faith as hypocritical and living a dual life (there is a difference between what their parents sing and talk about and what is lived out) </li></ul><ul><li>Young people express their faith more in community </li></ul><ul><li>Young people want the chance to discuss the struggles, inequities and reality of the Christian faith in action </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>Young people don’t want to point the finger at God about the realities of their lives and the world they live in but they want the chance to express their questions and fears </li></ul><ul><li>Yong people are able to handle ‘mess’ in their Christian faith </li></ul><ul><li>Young people have a more holistic view of faith that includes both spiritual and physical issues (emotional, intellectual and physical) that is not understood or acknowledged by the older generation </li></ul><ul><li>Young people believe that if the Christian faith is real then it should be able to make an impact in the world </li></ul><ul><li>After coming to faith young people are asking “So what happens now?” as they seek to see their faith be real </li></ul>
  4. 6. <ul><li>One View of Faith from Youth in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>I was with a group of about a dozen young Kenyans: lawyers, doctors, business owners, engineers, teachers, workers with NGO’s. Too often, the conventional church was no longer working for these educated young Africans. It focused on getting souls saved, building bigger buildings, and attracting bigger crowds, but its gospel ignored the systemic injustice, corruption, poverty, violence, and suffering in which these young adults had come of age. </li></ul><ul><li>One young woman told me, “I work at an NGO that is staffed by young Kenyans like myself. All of us grew up in the church, but not one of my colleagues identifies himself as a Christian. They call themselves agnostics or atheists. But it is the god of the personal prosperity gospel that they have rejected. Their desire to make a difference shows that they really have faith in a God that nobody talks about – the God who cares about justice, poverty, oppression, and suffering.” </li></ul>
  5. 7. <ul><li>Young People and the Church </li></ul><ul><li>Adults in the church do not want to serve the youth! This is a cultural norm – children serve the parents, the younger serve the elders </li></ul><ul><li>There is an attitude of “you’re supposed to know” – no one takes time to instruct the inexperienced how to do something like plan a program, disciple others, work alongside people, build a team etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns about education, relationships and money dominate young people’s lives but this has little place within youth work or the church </li></ul><ul><li>Many youth think that the church does not really represent Jesus and the Kingdom of God but only religion </li></ul><ul><li>One view by young people about church is that you become active in church when you are mature and ready to be serious about life – marry, have a family, etc. In other words, it’s not a place for young people </li></ul><ul><li>Most things in the church are structured to meet the needs of adults while very little is focused on youth or children </li></ul>
  6. 9. <ul><li>Some Ideas of Ways Forward </li></ul><ul><li>Allow young people to have more say and involvement in the youth ministry they are part of. Ownership creates commitment and belief </li></ul><ul><li>Church leadership needs to recognise that young people aren't just spiritual but they have physical, emotional and intellectual needs as well </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need to trust young people more. If you give them trust and space you will be amazed at the way they will express their faith </li></ul><ul><li>Being religious is a major turn off for young people so make church more relational and down to earth and less structured. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to integrate aspects of the global and youth culture into youth ministry </li></ul><ul><li>Training of youth leaders is vital for seeing effective youth ministry. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognise that young people do have increased knowledge and power in society </li></ul><ul><li>Create space for honesty about the Christian walk – acknowledging the mess and complications of life actually makes the Christian faith real </li></ul>
  7. 10. <ul><li>Brought to you by: </li></ul><ul><li>www.youthmesh.org </li></ul>

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