Preaching Truth To Youth
There is little question that many of today’s youth are increasingly disengaged from church, under engaged with the Gospel, and essentially biblically illiterate. The blogs, debates, and statistics about these continue to wage war but the greatest consensus from the ground states we have a real battle on our hands concerning millennials and the upcoming generation. In “You Lost Me” by Dave Kinnaman he states nearly three out of every five young Christians disconnect from their churches after the age of 15. These are youth under the stewardship of the church, not merely youth never engaged with the gospel. These are church kids, youth group regulars, and “PKs” that are graduating from church the moment they graduate from high school.
Youth are also the demographic within our churches that are the most intellectually challenged and culturally engaged consistently without options to retreat or hide. Intellectually, they are challenged with inconsistencies in the Bible, theories of evolution, and the exclusivity of Christ in their hallways and classrooms on a daily basis. Culturally, they are exposed to opposing views on marriage, abortion, and morality in movies, music, social media, and social settings. Facing these particular obstacles, it is no wonder ill-equipped teens are dropping off in college where the intensity of such temptations increases under the ironic bondage of newfound freedoms.
Therefore, a focus on preaching truth to youth is desperately needed as a strategic win for the mission of Christ. A Barna Research Study suggests that 64% of born-again Christians made their statement of faith before the age of 18. Statistics after the age of 18 dramatically decrease. I believe in the Sovereign Grace that saves sinners despite of our rebellion against God but many studies have shown evangelism is increasingly difficult as unbelievers become older. Therefore, it is very wise for church leaders to equip teens on evangelism. Greg Stier, President and Founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries, states “Youth groups who are intentional about training their students to share their faith with their friends see on average an 18% increase in new conversion growth.”
In addition to a sustained focus on evangelism, we also need to preach expositional messages to students. In his book “The Jesus Survey: What Christian Teens Really Believe and Why”, Mike Nappa observes that only 9% of teens expressed strong confidence in the four key doctrines of Christianity.” Biblical illiteracy and doubt about the Bible are alarmingly high. The simple unknown cure for this disease is biblical exposition in youth ministry. Here is the truth: our teens can handle it and they are hungry for it. Expository Preaching in youth ministry lends itself to teaching doctrine naturally and glues the authority of the message to the authority of the Bible. Biblical exposition also serves well to edify Christian teens and evangelize nonbelieving teens. When Scripture is preached expositionally it is Christ-centered and mindful of redemptive history. As a result, Jesus and his saving grace are present in every sermon and unbelievers will be exposed to his grace and convicted of their sin. On the other hand, believers will see their continual need for the Gospel and connect the overarching theme of God’s grace through Jesus as they learn and apply a book of the Bible to their lives.
As a result, we have designed the Youth Pastor’s Track to support these discoveries. I will be teaching a track entitled “Preaching To A Hip Hop Generation” to address the need for Christ-Centered Biblical Exposition to youth and equip participants with practical tips on how to influence effective transformation. DA Horton, church planter and author, will address “Reaching A Hip Hop Generation” specifically focusing on evangelism and discipleship for this generation. He will also teach a course on Theology and Youth ministry discussing the need for a robust theological foundation amongst our youth. I will close the workshops providing practical organizational tools to help support everything we discussed. This workshop will be entitled “Youth Ministry Systems” and will cover topics such as recruiting volunteers, creating a student leadership program, and effectively planning events that matches your biblical mission.
We hope to see you there! Register today! This will be a great opportunity to grow as a senior pastor, youth pastor, or youth leader. Visit cutstraight.org now to secure your team a spot.
For God’s Glory,