We live in a culture that divides people. Socially, demographically, politically, our culture continues to foster divisions. In particular, our society tends to pit the young against the old, which creates generational conflicts.
Fortunately, in the family of God, we are led differently, led towards unity between generations. We are all one in the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12; Gal. 3:28). From the womb to the grave to eternity, each member of God’s family has worth and worth.
Baptist churches in Oklahoma are blessed with strong members from every generation: the Greatest Generation, the Silent Generation, the Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and now Gen Z. Each of between them plays a vital role in what God is doing in our state and around the world. world.
I am grateful for each of these generations and individuals. I am especially grateful to the elderly saints who have served so faithfully for so long: pray, give, go. Thanks to them, we have seen the Gospel advance, to the glory of Christ!
Today I’m writing with a focus on the mentioned younger generation, Gen Z. In a recent column, Lifeway writer Aaron Earls discusses how Gen Z is dealing with an abandonment crisis. the church of epic proportions.
“Lifeway Research found that 66% of teens who attended church dropped out for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22,” Earls wrote. “Thinking about the similarities between a church dropout during college and COVID can provide pastors and church leaders with more realistic expectations for moving forward and ways to think about reaching those who still haven’t returned. .
“As teens become young adults, many also drift away from the religious beliefs and practices they had before. they planned to take a break after high school.
“The main reason young adults leave the church after high school, and more than likely the main reason worshipers have not returned after the pandemic, however, is not an intentional decision. Most simply drifted away during those college years. And the same is true for many during COVID.
Stop and think about this. What is true for young people was true for many other generations. We just got out of the habit of going to church.
Earls added, “Their habits and routines of life have been disrupted, and many have not made the intentional effort necessary to find a new church. Many teens don’t change their beliefs, but their beliefs aren’t enough motivation for the job of hunting and church attendance.
It would be easy to think that these young people will simply boomerang back to church once they get married or have children. Yet there is no guarantee of that, and we need them to engage now.
As one minister said, the 18 year old needs the 81 year old, and vice versa, in the life of the church. All of this underscores the urgent need to pray for ministries like Falls Creek, Baptist Collegiate Ministries (also known as BSU), Oklahoma Baptist University, Vacation Bible School, and so many other ministries that reach the next generation for Christ.
What can you do? Pray today. Pray for your pastor, your church, these ministries. Then go to church yourself to lead by example. Then, spend some time volunteering, if you are able. Then spend time reaching out in camaraderie and friendship to young people. Finally, continue to financially support your church.
In the Body of Christ, we value all phases of life, from the first to the last. And we need all generations, from the first to the middle to the last, to accomplish the gospel work that Jesus commanded us.