Investing in Young People

1 Corinthians 4:15 says, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
Many churches in rural areas have one thing in common:  not many young people. It seems as though a generation is spiritually dying because of a false perspective of what church really is. They feel as though church has become so religious that it is not relevant to their needs and desires today. It is more convenient for them to live an atheistic lifestyle rather they believe in God or not because it is so much easier to do so. A life of no conviction is the best thing for them according to their opinions. Instead of the church blaming the world, using the excuse that it is just the times that we are living in, we must engage the culture and invest in the lives of young people so that they will turn to and follow Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul said, we have a lot of teachers telling people how they need to live, but not many fathers being the example of Jesus Christ and mentoring young people to fulfill all of the potential and capabilities that they possess.
Statistics are very important in validating these points. revealed some information that should definitely encourage church leadership and congregations to make disciples out of the youth:
LifeWay Research data shows that about 70% of young adults who indicated they attended church regularly for at least one year in high school do, in fact, drop out—but don’t miss the details. Of those who left, almost two-thirds return and currently attend church (in the timeframe of our study). Also, that dropout rate is from all Protestant churches—evangelical and mainline.

Statistically, we found four factors that were the most predictive in determining which teenagers stayed in church:

  • I wanted the church to help guide my decisions in everyday life (prior to 18).
  • My parents were still married to each other and both attended church (prior to 18).
  • The pastor’s sermons were relevant to my life (prior to 18).
  • At least one adult from church made a significant investment in me personally and spiritually (between 15 and 18). (link)
So, as you can see, there is still hope for the modern-day and future church. If we choose to become spiritual fathers and mothers to a generation who has become naturally fatherless and motherless, we will make a greater impact on them to follow after Jesus Christ. They will choose to return to church, not for a social gathering, but for a desire to worship God and hear the message of the gospel that they can apply to everyday, practical living. We must invest in them. That might be playing basketball with them once a week, taking them out to dinner, supporting them in their extracurricular activities, counseling and encouraging them in their walk with God, etc., but those continual investments pay off in the long run! It is not only something that they will never forget, but it is also creates in them a legacy that they can follow after as well as leave behind for the next generation! A seed is accounted for a generation (Psalm 22:30), and your investments in one life can surely account for an entire generation.