Young people leave the Lord for a host of reasons including flawed parenting, ineffective ministries, poor decisions, disenchantment and the attitudes of Church members. Every aspect of a congregation should be examined, so we can retain them and help them grow closer to the Lord.
Often, older Christians forget their own youth and fail to identify the challenges young people face. Christians who did not grow up in the internet age do not understand the extraordinary obstacles our youth face today.
The moral dilemmas of our culture, in some ways, dwarf those of previous eras. Accordingly, these young people need our prayers and support.
Two facts come into play to empower Satan in pulling these young people away from God and their parents.
First, many young people do not have any concept of mortality. It never occurs to them that they can die. Even if they have had friends that died, it does not seem to penetrate their version of reality.
Young people will take chances with sex, drugs, alcohol, driving and stupid stunts because they feel indestructible. They know they will be safe in the end, so all they risk is a little discomfort. Moreover, they often believe that they have all knowledge and their omniscience will be a safety net.
Second, social status is the single important force in the universe to most young people. Being embarrassed in front of their peers is more terrifying than anything a horror movie can create. Accordingly, their peers become their moral barometer and lead them to destruction (Proverbs 4:14-17; 5:1-5; 6:24-29).
These two facts intersect to endanger our young people. If they do not feel a sense of mortality and they are horrified at displeasing their peers, they will be likely to go against their upbringing morally and rationalize their behavior, so as to maintain inner harmony.
They will live dual lives while they are under the roofs of their parents. Yet, when they are free, their moral decisions will lead them down different paths.
A middle-aged person will face ridicule from a few people at work and ignore it. A young teen will think their world is over and contemplate suicide. Young brains work differently and we must be aware of that.
We must do what we can so that our young Christians have healthier peer groups that will encourage and strengthen them. Likewise, they need to see us making right decisions and turning to God’s Word as the answer to life’s challenges, rather than friends or the world.
Knowledge is a lot of the battle and we can use these facts to help salvage the spiritual lives of our youth, before it is too late. Love, patience, prayer and empathy are of inestimable value in this war. Utilize them today.