The crying need of the day is to connect the next generation with Christ.
There are young people in Canada who have never heard the Gospel, never read a portion of Scripture, and never known the love of God.
According to a study by the sociologist, James Penner, “Fifteen per cent of young Canadians classify themselves as atheists”. Statistics Canada (2005) found that 33% of Canadians aged 15 to 24 have never been to church, compared with 25% in 1985. A recent assessment on the state of the Anglican Church in Canada indicated that it “may be only a generation away from extinction.” And the Hemorrhaging Faith Report states, “Only one in three Canadian young adults who attended church weekly as a child still do so today.”
Can these trends be reversed? I believe they can! The Lord does not want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV).
When we think about connecting a disconnected generation with Christ, some may assume that it’s just not possible. Humanly speaking we know it’s an enormous challenge. But God isn’t limited! And, by extension, neither is His church.
So how do we connect the next generation with Christ? From a Bible engagement perspective it begins with mastering the message. All evangelism should be rooted, informed and driven by the Word of God. The message is all important. Methods are secondary.
To master the message the messengers should know how to explain the Story. This requires regular Bible reading and reflection. The aim of every Christian should be to know God’s Word from top to bottom and from beginning to end.
But mastering the message is not enough. The message should master the messenger. “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” 1 John 3:18 (NIV). We must be living epistles! Our passion for the Word should be demonstrated by our compassion for the world. Children need to see how we live and give. To connect the next generation with Christ, our walk must line-up with our talk.
© Scripture Union Canada 2015