I love youth ministry! Like, a lot… =)
I began this roller coaster of a ride called youth work when I was a college freshmen, and I haven’t stopped investing in the younger generation since. I have so many amazing memories: crazy things that we did that I still cant believe we survived, laughing so hard with students that I thought I’d pass out, and crying my eyes out over kids on many agonizing and sleepless nights. I’ve watch kids graduate from high school and head to college for about 25 years now, and I have to tell you, it isn’t getting easier.
The world that students are growing up in, as you and I know, is a difficult one. It is just so complex and there are land mines waiting for them at every turn. The church is seeing more and more students walking away from the faith and really, we haven’t known what to do. It reminds me of Keith Green’s lyric, “…the church can’t fight because they’re asleep in the light.”
Research is telling us that there are a few reasons for the mass exodus of students leaving the faith – I just want to mention two.
First students don’t feel like the church is being intellectually honest (science, history, etc…) and they are not having real encounters with God in transformative ways.
Here is what is so cool – they are longing for these things!
They long for a faith that is big enough for their questions and their struggles and they are longing for a God who is actually real. They want Jesus’ God and they want Jesus’ words to be true. That if they seek Him, they will find Him and that this God will indwell them by His Spirit and empower them to live out a new resurrection life. If this is true, they want in! But they are not finding either of these things in the church.
The church is safe, questions aren’t.
The church is predictable, God isn’t.
This is why we have launched our new ministry, Generation514. Its all about these two things: mind and heart. A highly intellectual and robust question driven atmosphere with a wide open posture to God’s transformative work in the lives of everyday kids. This is why we do what we do. Our ministry is first focusing on The Amazing Next Conference – where there is space for both mind and heart. Together we can journey with your students in these confusing times as we provide a platform for conversations and encounters. We want to give them a new lens, the lens of the gospel of Christ, through which to think and act. We believe that together, we will be a part of what we’ve been praying for for years.
We are pumped! The national tour begins this April 2016 in Charlotte. If you are interested in bringing the conference to your area, please contact us. We’d love to partner! Just like you, we are longing to see a movement!
AND we want to give you a peek at our new website. There’s so much more to come, but this will give you a little taste. Check it out at: www.generation514.com.