Youth groups have changed significantly over the years. A shift has been taking place where droves of our youth are leaving Sunday school in search of something more significant.Barna Report: Atheism Doubles Among Generation Z. (https://www.barna.com/research/atheism-doubles-among-generation-z/) They can’t rely on the faith their parents raised them with because it doesn’t seem to be answering the big questions of life.
This departure seems to contradict the very idea of what the church is called to do. If there is a space for discipleship to flourish it should be the local church, not the mall down the street. The habits and heartfelt desires of our youth are being shaped more by what’s trending on Twitter or Snapchat than what’s being preached from the pulpit each Sunday.
Some would argue that this is a perfect place for the church to be. The experiences provided by the culture are just not providing adequate relationships that Millennials and the next generation need. The church can speak to these empty experiences with the truth of the Gospel in a community where relationships with the Triune God of the Bible flourish.
What we can begin to do in our local contexts is create a space for healthy doubting. Many of us have the idea that, as John says above, “Questioning leads to doubting and doubting leads to sinning.” We can’t be afraid of the questions our kids are asking, or they are going to find the answers elsewhere.
“That’s the thing we have to create space for in our churches. Being able to challenge students to continue to be on that journey for truth, but also giving them the space to ask the really tough questions.”
You can pick up a copy of John Stonestreet’s book, A Practical Guide to Culture, to find out how to walk through a whole host of other issues we weren’t able to address in this short article.