According to the recent article, “Losing our Religion,” in the Washington Times, more than one out of every four Americans consider their religious affiliation to be “none.” 40% of these “nones” are in Generation Z (today’s teens and below). The good news is, most of these “nones” are not strictly atheist or agnostic. They are not against religion or the idea of a God. What this statistic reveals is that the next generation does not see the need for church or religious activity. It simply does not cross their minds as a necessary part of life. They have a lot to keep them busy in a culture full of Hollywood and social media defining who they are and what they should believe. Such strong influences have made them content with being apathetic to higher ideals.
What we have is a failure to communicate. These kids have problems and they wish to be heard. It is our responsibility to reach the next generation!
My suggestion to America;
- Love your neighbor by listening to them, caring for them, helping them during hard times and being a good person to them with no agenda of inviting them to church.
- Be righteous in your actions, so people can tell something is different about you.
- Be ready to give an answer to anything that is asked about why you act or re-act different.
- Heal the sick.
- Visit people who are in difficult situations and offer prayer. This generation is not likely to say no. Generation Y would have been more likely to just have you stay away. Generation Z would think it was cool.
- Pray for your community.
- Engage these “nones” where they are. Don’t expect them to come to church. They aren’t coming. In fact, according to John Maxwell, 60% of unbelievers in America will never visit a church, even one-time, no matter how many times you ask. Therefore, the “invite to church then take them to a small group after for discipleship model” doesn’t work for the majority of America.
- Make reference to Jesus being so great whenever something good happens in front of them.
- Reach them for Christ. Talk to them. Share with them. They are not against church. They just have not thought about it.
- Start making them a disciple of Jesus before you ever invite them to church.
- Ask if you can pray with them when something bad happens.
- Tell them real accounts from the Bible that deal with their situation, but do not ask about church.
- Share Bible verses that give them comfort when they are troubled. But do not add “come to church with me this weekend.”
- Listen more than you talk. Talk Jesus and act like Jesus but do not say a lot about church. Invite them to your home instead.
- Spend them with this group; they are in every generation.
- Bringing them to a church building can happen later. Bring them close to Christ first.
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President, Agape International
Until Every Tribe Has Heard